Ishe Smith becomes first Las Vegas world champion
A tearful Ishe ‘Sugar Shay’ Smith scored a split decision victory over Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage to claim the IBF light-middleweight title and become the first Las Vegas born fighter to become a world champion.
At 34, Smith thought his time had passed until Floyd Mayweather Jr. resuscitated his career and was visibly emotional as Jimmy Lennon Jr. read out the result after twelve hard rounds.
Bundrage started off the better of the two, winning the first two rounds, although the 39 year-old was deducted a point by Sam Williams for hitting Smith while he was down.
From that point on, Smith took control of the fight, scoring the much cleaner punches on the counter and built up a wide points lead until the last two rounds when Bundrage rallied in vain.
The judges came back with one controversial card as Iowa judge Dave Hess amazingly scored 114-113 to Bundrage, with the other two judges seeing it the same as me – 116-111 to hand Smith the title. (Click here to view my scorecard)
Smith could hardly talk at the end of the fight after breaking down in the ring following the scores and thanked his mentor Mayweather for helping him achieve his lifelong dream after years of frustration.