Former IBF light middleweight champion Ishe Smith says the result of his fight against Vanes Martirosyan on September 12 isn’t do or die as the American aims to build on a recent victory.
The 37 year-old defeated Cecil McCalla in April having suffered a seventh career loss against WBA champion Erislandy Lara four months earlier in what was Smith’s second world title disappointment since fulfilling his destiny himself in February 2013.
‘Sugar Shay’ overcame Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage to claim a first recognised championship at the age of 34 before Carlos Molina took it from him seven months later, and Smith believes there is still plenty left in the tank whatever the result against Martirosyan next month.
“I don’t see this as being my last chance (to earn a world title shot) as it took me thirteen years to get my first title shot and I’ve had two shots in the last two years,” Smith told World Boxing News.
“Why would I look at any fight as being a determining factor of being able to define my career? My career is done when I make the call it’s done.
“He’s a solid guy, a top junior middleweight, but I am as well and when you’re at the top you want to fight guys who are at the top as well.”
Martirosyan, 29, is coming into the fight of the back of a reverse against undefeated Jermell Charlo in March, although Smith is adamant that form will mean nothing when the two square up at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I really don’t care about his recent form,” he said. “I was at the Charlo fight and I saw enough that night. I’ve been in this game 29 years, 15 of those professional and I’ve seen it all.”
Asked whether a shot at the winner of the forthcoming IBF title clash between old foe Cornelius Bundrage and other Charlo brother Jermall is possible next year, Smith added: “I don’t know, I’m taking it one fight at a time. I haven’t thought past September 12th.”