Friday, March 1, 2013

Ishe Smith pulls out split decision win over Cornelius Bundrage for Jr. Middleweight title

With Las Vegas, Nevada being the world’s undisputed hotbed of boxing it seemed rather odd that no fighter born and bred in Sin City had ever been crowned a major world champion. That all changed on Feb. 24 at the Masonic Temple in Detroit of all places, when 34-year-old Ishe Smith pounded out a 12-round split decision over 39-year-old Cornelius Bundrage in his hometown to take away his IBF Junior Middleweight Title.

The bout was a rather sloppy affair right from the opening bell and the first few rounds saw little in the way of action. Both boxers were trying to establish their jabs and also threw the occasional right hand. The rounds were had to score since they were quite uneventful other than the second round in which Bundrage had a point deducted from him by the referee for hitting Smith while he was dwn after slipping to the canvas.

The bout picked up in action during the final six rounds, but was still far from a great promotion for the sweet science. It did have its moments of intrigue and drama though as both Bundrage and Smith clocked each other with some solid shots to the head while almost completely ignoring each other bodies.
The judging proved that it was a difficult bout to score as two of the judges scored it in favor of Smith at 116-11 while the third judge had Bundrage winning it by a 114-113. The judges did agree on several rounds though with all three of them scoring rounds one and two for Bundrage while giving Smith rounds seven, 10, and 11.

Both boxers made names for themselves several years ago on the Contender reality television series. Smith broke down in tears after being announced the winner and said he’s been waiting 13 long years to become a world champion. He also admitted to having suicidal thoughts a few years ago. He claimed that he suffered an injury to his ribs during training camp, but there was no way he was going to pull out of a world title fight.

Floyd Mayweather promoted the event and said that while he was serving his jail sentence last year he contacted Smith and promised him that he’d line him up with a title shot. Mayweather has known Smith for years and said that everybody else was turning their back on him and he wasn’t about to do that to his friend. He held up his end of the deal and Smith did the rest.

Bundrage gave Smith credit for the win and said he fully deserved it fair and square. The 19-year pro added that he’ll keep on fighting and realizes that it’s a lot tougher to retain a title than it is to win one. With the win, smith’s record improved to 25-5 with 11 Kos while Bundrage fell to 32-5 with 19 Kos. It was Bundrage’s third title defense after successfully retaining it twice with knockout wins over Cory Spinks.

On the undercard, undefeated 25-year-old Michigan boxer J'Leon Love, who is also promoted by Mayweather, lifted his record to 15-0 with 8 Kos with an exciting 10-round unanimous decision victory over Derrick Findley of Chicago. The 29-year-old Findley’s record dropped to 20-9 with 13 Kos. The scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 100-90.  has the latest odds in the world of boxing and mixed martial arts along with all of the other major sports events.
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