Former super welterweight champion Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith suffered a split decision loss to Detroit’s Tony Harrison live from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas. In the co-main event, Andrew Tabiti scored a sixth round KO over Lateef Kayode to remain undefeated in the Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce main event.
After 10 rounds of action, Harrison (27-2, 21KOs) came out on top over Smith (29-10, 12 KOs) to gain the victory by split decision. Harrison’s speed and reach allowed him to land his shots and avoid Smith’s punches. This made it difficult for Smith to get into a groove and execute his game plan. Judges saw the bout: 97-92 Harrison, 95-94 Smith, 96-93 Harrison.
“It’s difficult for me to rate my performance,” said Smith. “I think we put on a great show, but overall his reach made it hard for me to land my punches. I don’t think his speed or his age affected my plan, it all comes down to me. I fought a great fight and as you can see, judges ruled it a split decision.
“I followed the instructions my corner gave me, they asked me to move and box, and that’s what I did,” said Harrison. “I thought I could’ve put a lot more shots together offensively. Ishe is a vet and he showed it each and every round. Each round that I thought I could stop him, he came back. I just had to put the pressure on him a little more. All in all, I rate my performance a B+, my guard, my defense and offense was on point, my legs were on point. I stood up after the 3rd round all the way to the end and proved to everybody I could finish like a champ.”
In the co-main event of the Bounce telecast, featured undefeated top contender, Tabiti (16-0, 13 KOs), who impressed hometown fans by defeating Kayode (21-3, 16 KOs) with a 6th round KO. The fight started off calm, but Tabiti was patient. By the 6th round, Tabiti was comfortable and found the perfect opportunities to land his power shots. After 1 minute and 8 seconds of action in the 6th round, Tabiti landed a clean uppercut sending Kayode to the canvas for the KO win.
“I’m hard on myself, but I’d give my performance a solid nine,” said Tabiti. “I think I came out and did what I told everyone I would; I showed my skillset, kept a steady pace, and got the KO. I was working on that body shot uppercut combo in the gym, the Mike Tyson 1-2. Next, I’m coming for a title shot. After a nine-month layoff, I’m pleased with my performance. I just want to continue bringing the fans exciting shows.”
“I feel that my performance was good, I wasn’t tired,” said Kayode. “I felt that with our style of fighting we kept clashing and hugging, we should’ve been able to keep our heads up and put on a show. I was there showing I was ready to fight, but he wanted to fight too, but the way he was coming we just kept clashing and it didn’t make the show look good. I just want to get back in the gym, keep training, and I hope Mayweather Promotions brings me back for another fight.”
In the matchup between Ecuador’s Erick Bone (20-5, 8 KOs) and Las Vegas fan favorite Cameron Krael (13-13-3, 3 KOs), Bone defeated Krael by a close split decision, judges scoring the bout 95-94 Krael, 95-94 Bone, 96-94 Bone. This fight between two hungry fighters started off very measured with both guys choosing their shots wisely but turned into an all-out brawl as both fighters gave electrifying performances. Bone got the best of Krael in the early rounds, and Krael caught a second wind and started to put the pressure on Bone. He seemed to dominate the final rounds, hurting Bone several times but it wasn’t enough to up the scorecards in his favor.
Bone reflects on his performance by saying, “When seeing a record like his, one might trust it, but he is a great fighter, real fast and technical and loves to throw punches. He is a boxer that can cause a problem to any fighter. In the ring it was much more difficult than what I had imagined and Krael made me box more. I feel that I didn’t give it the 100 percent that I am capable of, and this fight taught me a lot. I haven’t fought in the U.S. since June and that’s almost a year, so this was a test that I learned a lot from, I’m happy judges saw this fight in my favor.
“I don’t agree with the judges’ decisions at all,” says Krael. “I was caught earlier in the rounds, but I believe I did enough to win the fight. I should’ve won by split decision. My downfall was allowing myself to be open when I was trying to figure him out, and that’s when he caught me with those combinations. I am disappointed, because I really thought I was the better guy at the end. My plan is to get back in the gym and keep my stamina up and work on boxing these guys out.”
Rising prospect, Ladarius Miller (16-1, 5 KOs) and Jose Marrufo (10-8, 2 KOs) went the distance in 8 rounds of brutal action. Miller took control early in the rounds and slugged it out with Marrufo. Although battered and bruised Marrufo refused to back down without a fight and continued to fight back until the last bell. Judges scored the bout: 78-72, 77-74, 79-71 for a unanimous decision victory to Miller.
Tonight’s fights were opened with a welterweight showdown between Maurice Lee (8-1, 3 KOs) and Joel Guevara (3-4-1, 2 KOs) which ended in a TKO stoppage over Joel Guevara, Lanell Bellows, fighting out of Las Vegas battled it out with Naim Terbunja and after 8 rounds of action, judges ruled the bout in a draw.
Fight week events kicked off Wednesday with a media workout for the Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce card headlined by former world champion Ishe Smith taking on super welterweight contender Tony Harrison this Friday, May 11 from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas.
Coverage on Bounce begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and also features unbeaten cruiserweight Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti, who participated in Wednesday’s workout, meeting Lateef Kayode for 10 rounds of action.
Tickets for the event, which is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions, begin at $25, are on sale now and will be available at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.
Here is what the participants had to say Wednesday:
“I’ve been in there with some great fighters throughout the year. My mentality is that no fighter is going to beat me who’s been stopped every time he’s stepped up. I have to do whatever I can to make sure that happens.
“This is the first time in my career that I’ve had a strength and conditioning coach for two fights in a row. I feel really good right now. I hate clichés and I hate saying this is the best camp of my life, but I really do feel like this is one of the best camps I’ve had. I felt like that last fight too, but I know I’ll sound like everybody else
“What motivates me is watching guys like LeBron James who have been doing this nearly as long as I have, and they’re still at the top of their game. That kind of longevity is what I strive for and that’s because I live that life inside and outside of the gym.
“I’ve been training for three months for this fight and I just want a fair shake on fight night. I thought the scorecards in the Julian Williams fight were terrible. I can’t control it but it’s definitely something I want to avoid on fight night.
“Nobody has put on for Las Vegas like I have. I’ve done everything in my career the hard way. I took Cornelius Bundrage’s belt in his hometown. I’m not going to be beat on Friday night.
“I’ve been in this game two decades and I’ve seen the highs and the lows. If everything works out, I’ll be victorious on Friday night. I’m ready to go on the road and take on anyone.”
“Every time I step into the ring I’m extremely motivated. I’m fighting to feed my family. I’m from Detroit so we go through wars all the time. I was ready to jump on this fight as soon as they asked me about it.
“This is a fight that will get me back to a world title fight. This can get me right back into a title eliminator. What better place to do it than the boxing capital of the world? Everybody who fights wants to be in the main event fighting in Las Vegas.
“Ishe Smith has been in a lot of tough fights and he’s fought most of the top guys in the division. If I can get him into some danger, I want to see how his will is at that moment. I’m going to push him from round one and I think it makes for a good fight.
“It’s part of my mental game to make him work round after round. If I see him slow down, it will make me push more. I appreciate what he’s done, but I don’t know how much more he has left. I want to be a champion like he was.
“Being the first person to stop Ishe would be an opportunity I have to take. It would make a statement. But if I go the distance, it would answer all of the questions the critics have had about my motor. I’m going to be fresh until the end of this fight.”
“I’m excited to put on a good show and take care of a solid durable opponent. I know that my time is coming and this another chance to show off my skills.
“Once I fight the top tier cruiserweights, they’re going to see what I’m capable of. I basically used Steve Cunningham’s game plan against him. I’m very adaptable.
“I’m focused on showing a versatile side of my boxing skills. I’m not going straight for the knockout. I want to show people that I have boxing IQ and the ability to knock anyone out in the ring. I want to show both sides of my skill set.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“It’s always important to have great fights like this to Las Vegas. With Ishe Smith being a native it’s even better. This is a good fight that could put Ishe back into the thick of things. People don’t raise their hand to fight Ishe. I think Ishe has a second wind right now and he’s refreshed at this point in his career.
“Ishe doesn’t fight like he’s 39. There isn’t going to be anything that Tony Harrison can bring that Ishe hasn’t seen. Ishe has picked it up and I think the rest of the division knows that. It’s a deep weight class with a lot of possibilities out there. He has the ability to beat anyone out there.
“The future is very bright for Andrew TAbiti. It’s all in his hands. He has all the attributes that you need. He has a good team around him and it’s just a matter of finding ways to help him get to the next level. This is a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills against a very durable, tough guy in Kayode. Tabiti is looking to make a statement to all the other cruiserweights out there. He’s a guy they’re going to have to deal with in the very near future.”
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