DETROIT (Feb. 21, 2013) – Photos: Jeff Kowalsky – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions — IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Cornelius “K9” Bundrage confidently barked at the press while challenger Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith assertively promised to be the first Las Vegas native to win a major world championship during the combatants’ final media workout on Wednesday at Bad Boy Gym in Royal Oak, Mich.
Bundrage (32-4, 18 KO’s), of Detroit, and Smith (24-5, 11 KO’s), of Las Vegas, were both supremely confident and eager to step in the ring for this Saturday’s world championship showdown from The Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit, live on SHOWTIME® (9:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
Bundrage, who got his start in boxing at the famed Kronk Gym, the former home of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward and multiple world champions including Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, first won the IBF title in 2010 with a knockout victory over Cory Spinks and has since defended it in rematches with Sechew Powell and Spinks.
“He (Smith) came here to Detroit with nothing and he’s going to leave here with nothing,” Bundrage said. “I told Tommy Hearns he’s the greatest but I’m the latest. Somebody is going down Saturday night in Motown.”
Smith, who is a star of the Mayweather Promotions stable and trains at the Mayweather Boxing Club, is a battle-tested veteran who holds wins over Randall Bailey, Alfonso Gomez, David Estrada and Pawel Wolak and has never been knocked down in his career.
“He may be the champ, but I’m bringing that title back to Las Vegas,” Smith said. “When you have a chance to make history you don’t mess it up. I’ve beaten guys like him all day. He’s nothing special.”
In the SHOWTIME co-feature, undefeated middleweight contender J’Leon Love (14-0, 8 KO’s) of Detroit will risk his perfect record against veteran Derrick “Superman” Findley (20-8, 13 KO’s) of Gary, Ind. in a 10-round fight.