Ishe Smith will take on super welterweight contender Tony Harrison Friday night in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas.
Coverage for the card begins at 9 p.m. ET and will also feature Andrew Tabiti vs. Lateef Kayode.
Smith, 39 years old, is a former IBF junior middleweight champion and was a competitor on the first season of The Contender back in 2005. Overall, he is 29-9 in his career with 12 wins via knockout.
“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,” Smith said. “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.”
Smith will be trying to bounce back from a decision loss to Julian Williams that snapped a two-fight win streak. He’s also squared off with the likes of Erislandy Lara, Daniel Jacobs and Vanes Martirosyan during his career.
“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,” Smith said. “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.”
Harrison has scored back-to-back victories, pushing his record to 26-2 overall. Twenty-one of his wins have been via knockout, including a February finish vs George Sosa.
“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,” Harrison said. “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.”