Ishe Smith: I don’t blame Erislandy Lara for taking ‘Canelo’ pay-day
Former IBF light-middleweight champion Ishe Smith was in reflective mood when addressing his latest victory as the American’s impressive win over Ryan Davis on May 2nd could have been a lot more.
The 35 year-old, who lost his championship to Carlos Molina in the first defense, was initially pencilled in to fight Erislandy Lara on the eve of Floyd Mayweather’s clash with Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas until the Cuban pulled out to instead face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on July 12.
Smith took his frustration out on Davis with a crushing second round stoppage, and is now fully focused on sealing another shot at the world title after missing out on taking Lara’s interim WBA crown.
“I didn’t know what to expect from Davis, but I get quality rounds in the gym from sparring top notch guys. Plus, I don’t get paid for overtime on fight night so I was focused on executing the game plan we worked on for nine weeks,” Smith told World Boxing News.
“I don’t ever take anyone lightly, at this level everyone’s tough and one punch can change a fight. So I was focused on following the instructions of my corner and I knew if I did that I would be victorious. The KO was just a bonus.
“I wasn’t too disappointed that it wasn’t Lara in the opposite corner, but more disappointed in losing out on fighting for another world title. As I have stated many times, I can’t blame Lara for going to get more money, but I was prepared to dethrone the champion and we worked extremely hard the whole camp.
“We have made some necessary adjustments (since the Molina fight) to insure I win another title and I know Lara would have been defeated that night.”
‘Sugar Shay’ is now planning what’s next with his ‘Money Team’ advisors and hopes that he may be given the chance to regain his old world title belt in a rematch with Molina at some stage in the future.
“Whatever Mayweather Promotions have planned is fine by me,” said Smith. “I definitely want to go again before summers end or even during the summer, but I will sit down with Leonard and Floyd to map out the next move very soon.
“I’m pretty busy with my football team right now as we are in the midst of a championship run in the play-offs, so in the next week or so when things calm down I’m sure we will meet up.
“Hopefully down the line our paths will cross and I’ll get the opportunity to win back my title against Molina, you never know. I’ve never had the opportunity to avenge any of my defeats, would love for him to be the first.”
On Lara’s chances of putting another dent in Alvarez’s record following the Mexican’s loss to Mayweather last September, Smith added: “I’m leaning towards Canelo at the moment as what he did to Alfredo Angulo in his comeback fight was impressive.”
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