By Alexey Sukachev and Vladimir Begun Jr. (Allboxing.ru)
Ishe Smith, American light middleweight and middleweight contender, was a notable figure last week, addressing WBO 160-pound champion Dmitry Pirog and his team with a number of bold statements regarding Pirog's upcoming voluntary defense of the WBO title. Pirog patiently waited for the storm to quiet down and then stroke back with some fire of his own.
“Ishe Smith is a good boxer. Under certain circumstances we would have met in the ring a year ago but I fought Eric Mitchell instead. Smith is a known figure in America. He is even popular there to a degree. A fight with Ishe would have been an interesting opportunity for both me and my team to get more of a following in America," Pirog said.
"But what have I been seeing for several days already? He has just been showing off! He is singing like a nightingale now only to be noticed. That’s funny because we know who Ishe Smith is. And we asked the WBO about him. Their answer was as clear as it gets: 'we cannot approve him as a candidate for a championship bout.'"
"If Ishe Smith wants this fight he should do something. He should do it himself and not going blah-blah-blah about Facebook and all other stuff of these sorts. He has a powerful promoter in Lou DiBella. If they want this fight they must settle it down with the WBO. This is possible. Once again I’m eager to get this opportunity and to grant Smith a chance. But it’s a bit weird when the champion should do more to get his challenger his title opportunity than the challenger himself. Ishe Smith should be equally interested in fighting me or even more. So, Ishe, the ball is in your court now”.