Exclusive: Ishe Smith reflects on Julian Williams fight, performance told him he can still compete
Former world super-welterweight champion Ishe Smith has informed WBN he has no plans to retire following a competitive reverse against Julian Williams last month.
The 39 year-old was beaten for the ninth time in his career having gone into the contest on the back of a fourteen month layoff and the tragic loss of the mother of his three children, Latoya Wollen.
Prior to facing world-rated contender Williams, 27, Smith was riding on back-to-back victories and was on the verge of securing another world title shot to add to his reign as IBF ruler in 2013.
‘Sugar Shay’ had never shied away from a challenge during his entire stint in boxing and believes he proved there’s still a lot left for him to offer when going toe-to-toe with one of the most talented 154 pounders out there.
“For a guy coming off a fourteen-month layoff, being in the game seventeen years and fighting what many pundits picked as a next world champion, it wasn’t bad for an old head,” Smith exclusively told World Boxing News on his ten-rounder decision loss.
“Result aside, it’s up there with some of my best performances and lots of people called it my best,” he added.
Credit: Chris Farina
“But I don’t know man, it was a good one and I’m honestly just living the dream. It’s been a tumultuous year for me and my family with the inactivity, the personal issues and heartaches I have had to deal with.”
Reviewing his efforts in taking Williams to the trenches and making his fight for every round, Smith was pleased with the whole event from camp to final bell – but obviously felt sourness from some of the judging on the night.
“We had a great game plan going in, break him down to the body and test his heart later in the fight. He weathered the storm but he took a lot of punishment and he was hurt a couple of times in the fight,” Smith explained. “The last headbutt hurt pretty bad. Outside of that, I never felt anything from him.
“I’ve been in this game so long everyone kind of feels the same to me now. I don’t know how much longer I will continue to fight, I need to be active to keep securing bags (laughs) and make another run at a title.
“But I can no longer sit idle for year – or a year and a half. I have given my all to this game, I am better than sitting out like that.
“If I couldn’t compete I would hang them up, but I showed I can compete still and hell some people thought I won the fight, so that’s even better than competing.
“I am just real disappointed in the judges, 9-1 (99-91), 8-2 (98-92), and 7-3 (97-93) was some bull**** if you ask me. I don’t care if you like me or not, if you’re a fan or not, there is absolutely no way you can score that fight 9-1 or 8-2, hell even 7-3 is a stretch – it was far closer.”
Asked his opinion on whether Williams can now go all the way to claim a recognized title down the line, Smith was more cautious than anything about his now former opponent.
“It’s hard to say, with Julian as he was telling everyone he was going to knock me out. And most people thought he would walk through me, including the delusional ****boy Steve Kim.
“I’m not physic so I can’t say and going forward it’s very hard for me to gage anything with him, but I wish him the best though.
“I have been in there with some of the best in the world, so how he holds up in the future is on him, he’s a good kid,” concluded Smith.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay