|Real name||Ishé Oluwa Kamau Ali Smith|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Reach||71 in (180 cm)|
July 22, 1978 |
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
|Wins by KO||12|
Ishé Oluwa Kamau Ali Smith (born July 22, 1978), best known as Ishe Smith, is an American professional boxer. He held the IBF junior middleweight title in 2013, and was a competitor on the first season of the reality TV show The Contender in 2005.
Early life and education
Smith grew up in Nevada with his mother and siblings but never knew his father. As an amateur Smith competed on the national stage for years. In 1996 he made it to the finals of the US National Championships, losing a competitive match on points to Héctor Camacho Jr, and semifinals of the U.S. Olympic trials, losing on points to Zab Judah. In 1999, he lost on points in another close bout in the quarterfinals of the US National Championships to Larry Mosley, who went on to win the tournament.
Ishe Smith was a strong prospect early in his career, primarily as a good counter-puncher with excellent defensive skills. He won his first fourteen fights facing generally strong opposition. In 2001, he faced Alfonso Gomez in his fourth pro fight (Alfonso's second pro fight). Smith won via a controversial unanimous decision (due to a low-blow penalty against Gomez that was poorly called) in a four-round fight. Later that year, he beat Norberto Bravo by unanimous decision. Most notably, in 2003 he dominated David "King" Estrada, a fellow hot prospect at the time, beating him by a wide unanimous decision.
In 2004, Smith won his first belts (WBC Continental Welterweight title, WBO NABO Welterweight title, and USBA Welterweight title), beating the former world champion Randall Bailey by a controversial unanimous decision. In an economical punching fight, Smith scored a knockdown in the second round and showed better defense, but Bailey was a bit more active throughout, particularly in the last three rounds with an effective jab. There was little to separate the two men in terms of scoring the fight, but Smith won by scores of 116-111, 117-110, and 114-113.
|First Round||Win (points)||Kaddour|
|Quarter Finals||Loss (points)||Mora|
|Fans Favorite||Win (points)||Bonsante|
Ishe took a chance and signed on to do The Contender reality show. He was assigned as a roommate to his former adversary Alfonso Gomez. On the show, he was placed on the West Coast team and fought his rival Ahmed Kaddour in the third episode's fight. Smith won by unanimous decision against Kaddour in a tough fight. Smith criticized Anthony Bonsante for fighting Brent Cooper, whom he did not think was an appropriate competitor. Their bout had no bearing on Smith's standing in the competition.
When Juan de la Rosa was medically disqualified at the end of the first round fight, certain other boxers bought back Kaddour, a tactic employed to get under Smith's skin. After Brinkley criticized Smith for speaking his mind too often, Brinkley selected the fighter to go against Sergio Mora. Mora won over Smith in a split decision and was the tournament's eventual winner.
Smith faced his nemesis Bonsante in a "Fan Favorite Fight". Despite suffering many illegal moves from a desperate Bonsante, Smith won by a wide unanimous decision.
Since appearing on The Contender, Smith has criticized the show's management company for trying to force him to fight Jesse Brinkley at a severe weight disadvantage for a relatively small fight purse. A natural welterweight, Smith feels that he should have been allowed to drop back down to a lower weight class and fight more rounds against opponents outside The Contender in preparation for an eventual title shot, or be allowed out of the show's management contract as Contender contestants Ahmed Kaddour and Jimmy Lange, among others, have been.
Smith won his arbitration trial. He left the Contender promotions and signed a contract with Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. Smith has been under Bernard Hopkins' guidance since joining that company.
Smith was featured on a June 7, 2006 fight card promoted by Bernard Hopkins on ESPN Friday Night Fight, where he dominated his opponent Patrick Thompson through 10 rounds to get a unanimous decision. He fought at 154 lbs, in the junior middleweight division, which is considered a division with many opportunities for young prospects.
Smith fought Sechew Powell, a junior middleweight contender on February 17, 2007, and lost a unanimous decision, potentially halting his hopes of landing a title shot. Smith lost the fight despite scoring a knock down. After the decision was announced, many of Powell's hometown fans booed the decision. The judges gave Powell eight out of ten rounds. The fight was very slow as neither man wanted to let his hands go much, so the booing may have been for the lackluster nature of the fight.
Smith lost a razor-close decision to Joel Julio on April 30, 2008. Julio outworked Smith in the early rounds of the fight, but Smith came on strong in the 2nd half of the fight to make it interesting. Julio went on to lose his next two fights, one by TKO.
Smith returned to the ring on August 1, 2008, winning by unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Pawel Wolak. Describing the bout for him as "a do or die, must win situation", he delivered, outboxing the somewhat plodding Wolak in one of his most consistent performances. He followed that with a workmanlike unanimous decision win over Chris Gray in a stay-busy fight.
Smith lost to Danny Jacobs on August 22, 2009, but he had his moments in the fight and was definitely was crowd pleasing. Smith had moved up to Middleweight to challenge Jacobs. Smith vowed to go back to Jr Middleweight and make a run at the title, but his next fight was again at middleweight July 16, 2010 in Memphis, Tennessee against Fernando Guerrero, an explosive southpaw Middleweight prospect.
Smith and Guerrero fought on ShoBox in a ten-round competitive action affair. For the first half of the fight, Guerrero seemed to have a slight edge, as he outlanded and outworked Smith; the latter used many body shots, some being low, resulting in him losing a point. The tide turned heavily in Smith's favor in Round 8; he dropped Guerrero with a strong right hand at the end of the round. Smith had a very strong Round 9 and a good Round 10, though Guerrero had his moments in the final round as well. Though it appeared the scores could have gone either way by the end of the fight and Smith closed strong, Guerrero won 96-93, 95-93, and a surprising score of 97-91. Smith said afterward that he would like to return to Light Middleweight to make a run and/or get a fight with Julio César Chávez, Jr.
Soon after the Guerrero fight, Smith took a stay-busy fight which he easily won. He went on a long layoff, during which he stayed in the news mostly doing various boxing mailbags: commenting on the sport for websites such as BoxingScene and BoxingTalk. He also did sparring work for various camps. After more than a year and a half layoff, Smith returned to the ring in May 2012 against Ayi Bruce, winning easily via 4th round TKO at 154 lbs, and then September 8 won all 10 rounds on 2 cards and 9 of 10 on the 3rd card vs Irving Garcia for his 2nd straight 154 lb division victory, earning him his first world title challenge for Contender Season 2 Bronze medalist Cornelius Bundrage's IBF 154 lb belt scheduled February 23, 2013.
IBF junior middleweight champion
On February 23, 2013 Ishe Smith won a majority decision victory over Cornelius Bundrage to become the new IBF junior middleweight champion. On September 14, 2013, Smith lost his title to Carlos Molina by split decision. Many commentators rergarded the fight as a humdrum affair lacking any meaningful action, specifically on Smith's part. Two judges scored the bout 116-112 and 117-111 for Molina and one of the judges scored the bout 116-112 for Ishe.
Originally, Smith was supposed to face Erislandy Lara, but ultimately ended up facing Ryan Davis on May 2, 2014 after Lara elected to instead challenge Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez directly. Smith knocked Davis out at the end of the second round.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|37 fights||29 wins||8 losses|
|37||Win||29–8||Frank Galarza||MD||10||Sep 16, 2016||Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|36||Win||28–8||Tommy Rainone||UD||10||Dec 18, 2015||Palms Casino Resort, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|35||Loss||27–8||Vanes Martirosyan||MD||10||Sep 12, 2015||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|34||Win||27–7||Cecil McCalla||UD||10||Apr 30, 2015||Palms Casino Resort, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|33||Loss||26–7||Erislandy Lara||UD||12||Dec 12, 2014||Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.||For WBA (Regular) light middleweight title|
|32||Win||26–6||Ryan Davis||KO||2 (10), 2:59||May 2, 2014||Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|31||Loss||25–6||Carlos Molina||SD||12||Sep 14, 2013||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.||Lost IBF light middleweight title|
|30||Win||25–5||Cornelius Bundrage||MD||12||Feb 23, 2013||Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.||Won IBF light middleweight title|
|29||Win||24–5||Irving Garcia||UD||10||Sep 8, 2012||Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|28||Win||23–5||Ayi Bruce||TKO||4 (10), 2:10||May 4, 2012||Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|27||Win||22–5||Alexander Pacheco Quiroz||RTD||2 (8), 3:00||Nov 5, 2010||Scheels Arena, Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.|
|26||Loss||21–5||Fernando Guerrero||UD||10||Jul 16, 2010||DeSoto Civic Center, Southaven, Mississippi, U.S.||For vacant NABF middleweight title|
|25||Loss||21–4||Daniel Jacobs||UD||10||Aug 22, 2009||Toyota Center, Houston, Texas, U.S.||For vacant WBO–NABO middleweight title|
|24||Win||21–3||Chris Gray||UD||6||May 8, 2009||Plaza Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.|
|23||Win||20–3||Paweł Wolak||UD||10||Aug 1, 2008||Aviator Sports and Events Center, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|22||Loss||19–3||Joel Julio||UD||10||Apr 30, 2008||River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada|
|21||Win||19–2||Carlos De La Cruz||TKO||2 (6)||Feb 8, 2008||Miccosukee Resort and Gaming, Miami, Florida, U.S.|
|20||Loss||18–2||Sechew Powell||UD||10||Feb 17, 2007||Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|19||Win||18–1||Óscar González||TKO||2 (10), 2:55||Aug 25, 2006||Desert Diamond Casino, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.|
|18||Win||17–1||Patrick Thompson||UD||10||Jun 7, 2006||Borgata, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|17||Win||16–1||Anthony Bonsante||UD||5||May 24, 2005||Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|16||Loss||15–1||Sergio Mora||SD||5||Sep 12, 2004||Contender Gymnasium, Pasadena, California, U.S.||The Contender: quarter-final|
|15||Win||15–0||Ahmad Kaddour||UD||5||Aug 24, 2004||Contender Gymnasium, Pasadena, California, U.S.||The Contender: preliminary round|
|14||Win||14–0||Randall Bailey||UD||12||Jan 15, 2004||Chumash Casino Resort, Santa Ynez, California, U.S.||Won vacant WBC Continental Americas, WBO–NABO, and USBA welterweight titles|
|13||Win||13–0||David Estrada||UD||10||Jul 31, 2003||Kewadin Casino, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, U.S.|
|12||Win||12–0||Sal Lopez||TKO||2 (10), 2:31||Jun 20, 2003||Home Depot Center, Carson, California, U.S.|
|11||Win||11–0||Sam Garr||UD||10||Apr 24, 2003||Grand Casino, Gulfport, Mississippi, U.S.|
|10||Win||10–0||Edson Madrid||KO||1 (6), 1:25||Dec 27, 2002||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|9||Win||9–0||Gerry Balagbagan||UD||6||Oct 18, 2002||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|8||Win||8–0||Charles Blake||TKO||2 (8), 2:58||Jul 26, 2002||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|7||Win||7–0||Michael Soberanis||UD||4||May 17, 2002||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|6||Win||6–0||Norberto Bravo||UD||6||Dec 28, 2001||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|5||Win||5–0||Sean Holley||TKO||3 (4), 2:43||Oct 19, 2001||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|4||Win||4–0||Alfonso Gómez||UD||4||Jun 15, 2001||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|3||Win||3–0||Tony Sanza||TKO||1 (4), 0:55||May 18, 2001||The Orleans, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|2||Win||2–0||Steve Verdin||KO||1 (4), 0:41||Sep 9, 2000||New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|1||Win||1–0||Jose Meraz||TKO||3 (4), 2:59||Jul 29, 2000||Grand Casino, Tunica, Mississippi, U.S.||Professional debut|
- Kevin Iole (2013-02-22). "Suicidal thoughts behind him, Ishe Smith hopes to become first native Las Vegas world champ". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- "USA1996". Amateur-boxing.strefa.pl. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- "Zab Judah". BoxRec.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
- "USA National Championships 1999". Amateur-boxing.strefa.pl. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byMiguel Angel Rodriguez
|WBC Continental Americas welterweight champion
January 15, 2004 – August 2004
Title next held byMauro Lucero
Title last held byJosé Celaya
|WBO–NABO welterweight champion
January 15, 2004 – August 2004
Title next held byMark Suárez
Title last held byCory Spinks
|USBA welterweight champion
January 15, 2004 – July 2004
Title next held byDavid Estrada
|World boxing titles|
|IBF junior middleweight champion
February 23, 2013 – September 14, 2013