Former IBF super welterweight champion Ishe Smith believes any talk by Vanes Martirosyan of him being stopped for the first time in his career is way off the mark.
The 37 year-old, who has never been halted in 34 professional bouts, battles Martirosyan in Las Vegas on the Floyd Mayweather v Andre Berto undercard this weekend and is predicting a thrilling fight at the MGM Grand.
“I’m not going to make any predictions. I’m just going to go out and do what I do and that’s give 100 percent,” said Smith.
“I will say this, though, if he thinks he is going to knock me out, like he’s saying, it’s going to be a very entertaining fight.
“I won a world title as a B-side, but I feel I’m the A-side in this fight. I’ve fought the best in the division for years and years, I’ve sparred with the best.
“Martirosyan is a good dude and has a nice family, but he hasn’t been in with guys like I have. Guys that are better and hit a lot harder than him. I’ve never been down. I’ve never taken an eight-count. I’m 34 years old and never been hurt and he says he’s going to stop me. That’s just crazy.
“I’m betting on my chin, that’s for sure. He couldn’t knock out [Jermell] Charlo in his last fight. He made all kind of excuses for losing. The reason he lost was because he lost to a better fighter.
“If he wants to go for the KO, fine; if that’s his focus. For me, I’m not thinking KO. I’m just thinking winning,” he added.
A win for Smith should mean another crack at his old IBF belt against the winner of current champion Cornelius Bundrage v Jermall Charlo, a fight which takes place on the same night at Foxwoods in Connecticut.