Former world boxing champion Ishe Smith believes his debut in bare-knuckle went so well, he’s now unable to get another fight booked.
‘Sugar Shay’ – formerly a part of Floyd Mayweather’s Money Team and a one-time IBF super-welterweight title-holder, is raring to go after winning his first bare-knuckle bout.
Smith beat Estevan Payan last September in New Town. He’s remained hopeful of landing another crack ever since.
But as the American explained to WBN, there haven’t exactly been fighters queuing around the block to face him.
“I would love to do bare-knuckle again,” Smith exclusively told World Boxing News. “I was targeting an April return in that. But the December show got canceled so I don’t know where we stand at the moment.
“They want blood, cuts, and knockouts. But I beat the shit out of those guys minus getting hit. All of those bare-knuckle fighters are easy work for me.”
On attempts to put his name in the mix for upcoming promotions, Smith added: “I reached out to the company in the UK, never heard back. I reached out to the company Paulie (Malignaggi) fought for (BKFC) but never heard back.
“They must not want me beating the shit out of their guys. The guy Paulie fought (Artem Lobov), can’t think his name at the moment, but I would destroy that guy in a bare-knuckle fight.
“The hardest thing about that sport is the pain endured on your hands, other than that it was a cakewalk,” he said.
At 41, Smith is fast running out of time to land a top opportunity as it’s almost a year since his last pro boxing bout.
Suffering a loss at the hands of Erickson Lubin, Smith is open to a return to the squared circle if the right offer came calling.
“Sometimes I sit back and I recall my last three fights,” said Smith. “A close fight against J-Rock (Julian Williams), even some had me winning. Then a close fight against Tony (Harrison).
“Then, I just wasn’t in the right frame to fight Lubin. I still think I can do it.
“I had an offer to fight in China, but it didn’t make any sense to me. If a promoter came calling I would listen, and if I liked the fight I would do it,” he concluded.