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Exclusive: Ishe Smith still open to boxing, UFC or bare-knuckle offers

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  • 3 min read

Former world super welterweight champion Ishe Smith is ready to listen to offers on a return to boxing or bare-knuckle boxing in the future.

Smith, who last fought in a victorious bare-knuckle debut last year, remains a student of combat sport ahead of any forthcoming enticement from promoters.

‘Sugar Shay’ remains one of the most respected fighters in the world today. His willingness to take on any challenge can only be admired.

Outlining his plans to WBN in an exclusive interview recently, the one-time IBF title-holder explained retirement is not on the agenda just yet.

“I would box again, of course, I would, ” Smith exclusively told World Boxing News.

“Time off from the sport has been much needed for me. My last three fights in boxing were tough, but the dog in my won’t let me go out like that.

“I would love to box again if it was right. Or bare-knuckle, even UFC. People just think I talk s***, but I give people props and credit when it’s due.

“I’m a student of the game like the 154-pound guy Top Rank that was pushing heavily. I sat back one day and watched this guy fight, I said man I can beat this guy right now.

“I called my advisor in NY and told him to call Brad Goodman to set something up, Brad kind of blew him off I think. Look at what happened to him in his next fight.

“So I sit back and I just look and analyze things and fighters. If an opportunity presents itself, of course, I would take it.”

The first world champion of Las Vegas descent, Smith admits he’s been surprised at the lack of interest from Nevada-based Top Rank during his tenure.

“It does bother me at times that TR is based in Nevada and Bob Arum has been here my whole life. I never had a chance to fight for them,” pointed out.

“They signed my stablemate out of the 1996 Olympic trials Augie Sanchez, but I was overlooked. I had to go the hard route which made me the fighter I am today.

“Other than that, I just enjoy being a dad, I have a lot of fun being around my kids and being able to attend games.

“I try my best to pay attention to my old stablemates, some of them are just way too inactive though. That will kill you over the long haul.

“Overall I love just being a student, being able to pay attention to GBP fighters, TR, MP, Eddie Hearn and PBC.

“When I was fighting a lot you kind of lost in the shuffle when you’re under one umbrella. So its good to see what everyone is doing from the outside.

“I like what Eddie Hearn has been doing minus the YouTubers. Putting them on Primetime is ridiculous. But it sells, and boxing has become much more about entertainment, so I get it.”

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.