Ex-world champion Ishe Smith heading to the UK for bare-knuckle run
Ishe Smith, the former IBF super-welterweight champion, has signed up to fight bareknuckle in the UK.
The American will be fighting on BKB TM shows after agreeing on a deal with bosses Joe Smith-Brown and Jim Freeman.
Smith-Brown and Freeman have been on the lookout for American fighters since signing a deal with streaming channel MVSN and Smith fits the bill.
He came to prominence during the Contender show and went on to take the IBF title from Cornelius Bundrage in 2013.
The belt was lost to Carlos Molina on a split points vote and Smith was edged out on points by Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara in a subsequent world-title challenge.
Earlier in his career, Smith outpointed feared banger Randall Bailey.
Smith-Brown described the signing of Smith as “massive for us.
“He’s a proven top-quality fighter and I can’t wait to see him fight at a packed O2 Arena.”
Smith agreed to sign for BKB TM after watching their Lockdown II show on Saturday night that was topped by a possible future opponent.
Jimmy Sweeney scored a victory over Amir Khan and Nathan Cleverly with a quick stoppage of Russell Pearce.
Khan and Cleverly both outpointed the Welshman in the amateur ring – and it took the 36-year-old from Sligo only 50 seconds to get the job done.
At the opening bell, Pearce went for broke and Sweeney kept his cool and then blasted him with a pinpoint three-punch combination.
Pearce sank to his knees and stayed there for the full count.
The success of the show has led BKB TM to announce a show every month between July and the end of the year.
Smith-Brown said: “Crowds are coming back, TV companies around the world are asking: ‘When’s the next show ?’ and I’ve got 120 fighters who want to fight, so we need to put shows on.”