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February 24, 2013

ISHE SMITH FINALLY REACHES THE MOUNTAINTOP
By Scott Shaffer

Ishe Smith W12 Cornelius Bundrage... Years after his boxing career seemed all but over, and after reportedly contemplating suicide, Ishe Smith realized his improbable dream of winning a world title when he defeated Cornelius Bundrage for the IBF 154-pound championship on Saturday. Smith won by split decision, but there was no controversy in Detroit, as Smith's technical superiority ruled the day in Bundrage's hometown.  Smith fought cautiously at times, but his jab was effective and he hurt Bundrage several times over the second half of the fight.  Smith, 25-5, has never been stopped or even knocked down as a pro, but his career stalled several times due to lack of a strong promoter and some safety-first performances. However, Smith, a former Boxingtalk writer, deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the incredible perseverance he has shown throughout a slow, 13-year slog through the cesspool of boxing politics.  Smith was overcome with emotion during his post-fight interview, breaking down to the point of near incoherency. But Smith's triumph over adversity spoke louder than any words he could have said. At 39 years-old, Bundrage, 32-5, was not so punished that he need consider retirement, but he will have an uphill battle getting back to the world title level. source: showtime



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