Photos: Lubin defeats Ishe Smith by TKO; Smith announces retirement

Former world title challenger Erickson Lubin (20-1, 15 KOs) knocked down Ishe Smith (29-11, 12 KOs) a total of four times before the fight was stopped at the end of round three in a scheduled 10-round super welterweight bout. This was the first time Smith has been stopped in his career.

After the fight, Smith announced his retirement from the sport of boxing. The 40-year-old Smith won his first and only title in 2013 when he defeated Cornelius Bundradge to capture the IBF 154-pound belt — becoming the first Las Vegas-born fighter to win a major title.

Photos/Courtesy: Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

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Lubin on fight with Smith: ‘I’m going to win this fight and win it impressively’

Super welterweight contender Erickson Lubin will enter the ring under the guidance of coach Kevin Cunningham for the first time when he steps into the ring this Saturday against former world champion Ishe Smith as part of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The digital presentation will stream on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and will also feature a showdown between super lightweights Juan Heraldez and Eddie Ramirez, all leading up to that evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event.  The three-fight SHOWTIME telecast begins live at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT headlined by super featherweight world champion Gervonta Davis defending his title against former world champion Hugo Ruiz.

Lubin will fight for the second time since losing his first world title challenge to Jermell Charlo in 2017, and for the first time with his new coach. The Orlando-native began training camp in West Palm Beach, but has been training in Las Vegas for the last month since the team moved west to finish the training camp for Adrien Broner’s fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Here is what Lubin had to say about Saturday’s fight and more:

On his matchup against Ishe Smith:

“Ishe Smith has been in the ring with the best of them and he’s never been stopped.  He knows how to fight and I’m expecting him to be at this best.  I will have to dictate the pace right from the opening bell.  My goal is to be the first person to take him out, but if it goes the distance, I’m okay with that as well.  I’m going to win this fight and win it impressively.”

On training with new coach Kevin Cunningham:

“Kevin is a no-nonsense type of guy. He’s going to tell you the truth if you like it or not.  If I’m doing something wrong in his eyes, he’s going to speak on it right away.  He’ll do the same if I’m doing something right, so I like his style of training and I’m learning more each day we are together.  This will be our first fight together and I’m excited to get back in the ring.  We have a nice game plan in place that we will execute on fight night.”

On training in Las Vegas for the first time in his career:

“Training in Las Vegas is no joke, because we are training in higher elevation than what I’m used to in Florida.  Getting away from the distractions at home has been relaxing.  I’ve been getting great sparring and my timing is right on point.  Las Vegas is definitely the place to be for high level sparring and training.”

On fighting in Southern California for the second time in his career:

“I really like fighting on the west coast.  The fans are great, and the weather is beautiful.  I know we’ll be fighting outdoors so I’m looking forward to that.  Everyone knows this venue has hosted some really good fights.  I’m looking to steal the show on Saturday night.”

 Photo: Team Lubin

Tony Harrison has concerns about the judges in a Charlo rematch

When the scorecards were announced after the Jermell Charlo-Tony Harrison fight back in December, many fans at Barclays Center and some reporters on press row were surprised by what they heard. All three judges had it for the new WBC junior middleweight champion, Tony Harrison.

According to Charlo, there was a rematch clause in the contract, and recently, the WBC ordered a rematch between Charlo and Harrison.

After the bout, Charlo called the decision a robbery and called for a rematch, which is something Harrison is interested in doing. However, Harrison has some concerns about how the judges will handle the rematch.

“That’s the only thing that scares me,” Harrison recently told Paul Gant about the judges in a possible Charlo rematch. “Because it was the same thing with Ishe Smith when I fought Ishe Smith after he fought Julian Williams. I thought he(Ishe Smith) gave a hell of a performance, and I’m actually rolling with Ishe because I actually thought the scorecards were a little too wide on how competitive the fight was. After all that complaining that he did after the fight, which was very acceptable because I thought he deserved a little better scorecard than he had, but I think it affected me when I fought him next. They gave me a split decision when I thought I dominated him ten times more than Julian Williams did, so that’s mostly the only thing that scares me about fighting him(Charlo) again.”

Harrison does make a good point about the Julian Williams-Ishe Smith fight that took place November 2017. In that fight, Smith fought hard and gave Williams a very tough fight, but the scorecards were very wide. The scores for the fight were  99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all in favor of Williams. Harrison fought Smith seven months later and dominated him for 10 rounds. Harrison won the fight, but the fight was way too close on the scorecards than it should have been. The Detroit native would win by split decision.

The controversial nature of the decision in the first fight with Charlo could make it hard for Harrison to win in a rematch. He might have to win more definitively the next time around. It may put Harrison in a tight spot and may force him to be more aggressive than he needs to be in the rematch.

Ishe Smith: ‘I’m the modern day Benjamin Button’

Former super welterweight champion Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith will battle top 154-pound contender Tony Harrison in a 10-round match that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce on Friday, May 11 from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas.

In the co-main event, top contender Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti will meet Lateef Kayode in a 10-round cruiserweight attraction. Smith and Tabiti, both Las Vegas residents, will be fighting on their home turf and looking to impress their hometown fans.

Tickets for the event, which is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions, begin at $25, are on sale Monday, April 23 at 12 p.m. PT and will be available at www.samstownlv.com/entertain.

“Mayweather Promotions has had a busy year thus far and the momentum isn’t slowing down with May 11th at Sam’s Town Live right around the corner,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “This venue is certainly one of the local properties that we enjoy working with and have made it our home over the past few years.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing Ishe Smith back in the ring after the stellar performance that he put on against Julian Williams to close out 2017.  I know that he is physically and mentally prepared to take on Tony Harrison and will not disappoint. Andrew Tabiti is a young talented fighter that is on track to have a bright future. He will look to build upon his flawless record in the co-feature against Lateef Kayode on May 11.”

The 39-year-old Smith (29-9, 12 KOs) became the first Las Vegas-born boxer to win a world championship when he defeated Cornelius Bundrage for a super welterweight title by majority decision in 2013. He lost the title by split decision to Carlos Molina in his next fight before earning another title shot against Erislandy Lara in 2014, that he lost lost by decision. Smith most recently dropped a competitive contest on Bounce against Julian Williams last November.

“I picked up right where I left off from my last fight. I’m back in camp. I didn’t take any time off since my last fight,” Smith said. “This will be the second fight in a row where I am bringing in a strength and conditioning coach. I credit my strength & conditioning coach, who played a major role in my last performance being one of my career best. It was no question, before I had a date I was back working with my team. I feel younger, I feel great – I’m the modern day Benjamin Button. I felt great in my last fight and I’m going to continue to bring it.

“I don’t feel like I’m approaching 40, I actually feel younger and in the best shape of my life. This camp I’m focused on not leaving anything into the judges hands like last time. I can’t allow another bad call against me. It’s time for me to make a statement, dominate, and get this guy out. I don’t know much about my opponent, but I’m going to make him fight my fight.”

Harrison (26-2, 21 KOs) is a heavy-handed 154-pound contender from Detroit, Michigan who has put together two strong victories since suffering a KO loss to unified super welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd in 2017. Harrison most recently scored a KO victory over George Sosa on Feb. 17 in El Paso.

“It’s about time for me to get back into the loop. This is a tough fight against Ishe, who is coming off of a good performance for himself against Julian Williams,” Harrison said. “I’ve been wanting to fight Ishe since my early days as a pro, and this is exactly the kind of fight that I need. This is definitely going to be a good one.

“Ishe is almost 40 years old, but that makes no difference to me. Ishe’s been a world champion, and in order for me to become a world champion, I’ve got to go through one. It’s a difficult task, and there is definitely no way that I’m taking Ishe lightly. I’m the ultimate competitor, and there’s not a fight in the world that I wouldn’t take. I’m ready to lay it all on the line in this fight, and that’s what makes it all worthwhile when I get the win.”

Tabiti (15-0, 12 KOs) has used his punching power to make a steady climb up the cruiserweight ladder. The 28-year-old, who was born in Chicago and now lives in Las Vegas, took a major step forward in his last fight when he scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over former world champion Steve Cunningham on Aug. 26. A win against the veteran Kayode will further solidify his position among the top cruiserweight contenders.

“My last fight I showed everyone that I’m a smart boxer,” Tabiti said. “I think a lot of guys expect me to just go in the ring and knock guys out but I feel like it’s important to show that I’m versatile. I can box with you or I can use my power and get a guy out.

“This camp, my goal is to focus on targeting the body plus using the IQ I gained from my last camp and fight. This guy is older, he’s coming off two losses, he’s on his way out, but I can’t overlook him. My last opponent was a lot older so I’m going to take the tools and experience and put it all together to bring the fans a great performance.”

The 35-year-old Kayode (21-2, 16 KOs) is looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses, including a unanimous decision loss to Keith Tapia in his last fight on Sept. 23. Kayode, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria and now lives in Hollywood, California, dropped down to cruiserweight after his match against heavyweight Luis Ortiz was declared a no contest due to Ortiz failing his post-fight drug test for performance enhancing drugs in 2014. His last victory was a unanimous decision against Nick Kisner in 2015. That paved the way for a shot at the cruiserweight world title later that year, which he lost by knockout to Denis Lebedev.

“Tabiti has absolutely no experience compared to me and his opponents have been less than formidable,” said Kayode. “I will show him why I’m in a completely different class of fighter!”

Julian Williams defeats Smith by Unanimous Decision(photos)

LAS VEGAS (November 18, 2017) – Former world champion Ishe Smith (29-9, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas showed grit and heart in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as he faced hard-hitting contender Julian Williams (24-1-1, 15 KOs) in a thrilling 10-round super welterweight bout. But the young Philadelphian was too much for the 39-year-old Smith as he landed more clean shots despite Smith throwing combination after combination throughout the fight.

Williams came out swinging, landing shots to the head and body throughout the first round. Smith let his hands go in the second round before sustaining an accidental head butt that opened a cut above his left eye. Williams took advantage of the cut into the third round landing several right hands, but Smith was not deterred as he threw combinations of his own. Midway through the fifth, Smith threw several flurries of punches staggering Williams. But Williams bounced back quickly landing a hard uppercut.

In the seventh round, Smith landed a hard left hook to the body of Williams. A second accidental head butt stopped the action in the eighth as blood poured over Smith’s eye. The ninth round saw action from both sides, but ended with Smith throwing several combinations to the end the round. There was a third accidental head butt in the 10th caused Smith to double over, but he showed his veteran spirit and finished the fight. In the end, the judges ruled a unanimous decision victory in favor of Williams with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.

 Photos from Vegas:

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Julian Williams on Ishe Smith: ‘I think I have the answer for him’

LAS VEGAS (November 16, 2017) – Top contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams is on the path to another world title shot but will first have to get by former world champion Ishe Smith when they meet in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Williams took his training camp to Big Bear, California earlier this year and served as a sparring partner for middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin before heading home to finish training for Smith.

“This has been a long camp,” said Williams. “I’ve really been training since June 30. I came back from Big Bear and hit the ground running training with Gabriel Rosado. The fun part comes now when we get to fight.

“Training with Golovkin was a great experience. To get to shadow a top five fighter in the world, to see how he moves, to see the kind of work he puts in and the exercises he does, it was very valuable. He gave me some pointers and helped me out so overall it was great.”

Williams most recently stopped Joshua Conley in the seventh-round in June as he made his ring return following his first defeat, to then IBF Junior Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo in a fight Williams believes he’s learned from.

“I just got a little impatient with Charlo,” said Williams. “Even the second-round knockdown, I got up and I thought I did enough to make that an even round. Then I got impatient, got caught and I paid the price. This is one of those times though that I think some good can come from a loss. It taught me to be a more patient and smarter fighter.”

Now, Williams will face a tough former champion in Smith, the first Las Vegan to capture a world title and a rugged contender who’s faced the very best in the sport for years.

“I remember watching Ishe Smith back on ‘The Contender’,” said Williams. I’ve definitely followed his career. He’s a guy who has seen a lot of styles, but he has eight losses for a reason. He makes mistakes.

“At the same time, nobody has stopped him. I think I can be the guy to knock him out. I think I have the answer for him. At the end of the day, I expect him to be true to his style. Whether he’s winning or losing, it’s a defense-first approach from him. This will be nothing but business for me on Saturday night.”

If Williams can get by Smith on Saturday night in Las Vegas, the 27-year-old has his sights set squarely on a 154-pound world title and is ready for any champion who will get in the ring with him.

“I treat every fight like it’s a must-win,” said Williams. “I treated the Conley fight like that and I’ll bring the same intensity on Saturday. I’m just a hungry fighter who’s focused. I don’t care about all the distractions and nonsense.

“I’m interested in fighting all of the current champions and I have the ability to beat them all. The choice isn’t necessarily up to me, but they’re all great fighters and I know I’m a great fighter too. I’ll take any of them.”

Ishe Smith on fighting in Vegas: ‘It’s a special feeling to have home court advantage’

LAS VEGAS (November 14, 2017) – Former world champion Ishe Smith will look to stake his claim to another world title opportunity when he battles top contender Julian Williams in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.

Smith knows that Williams provides a steep challenge and the veteran will have to be at his best to hold off the hungry title contender.

“Julian Williams is tough, one of the toughest in the division,” said Smith. “I don’t overlook his talent and what he brings to the sport. I’ve been in boxing going on 17 years, so I’ve seen a lot. Williams hasn’t been tested in all the ways I have. Unlike my opponent, I’ve been in the ring with all levels of fighters: world champions, rising prospects and former world champions. I’ve seen it all.”

The winner of his last two contests, Smith most recently defeated then once-beaten Frank Galarza last September. On November 18, Smith looks to prove that his experience and hard work in training camp will make all the difference once the bell rings.

“This camp is definitely different than my last one, in the sense that I feel more prepared,” said Smith. “I have been conditioning my body to go the distance like I have with all fights. With my experience, coupled with my trainer Rafael Ramos, who has been great in preparing me for any and all curveballs my opponent may try and hand me, I’m ready.

“Training for fights becomes more challenging the longer you stay in the sport, but I’ve always kept it a habit to fine tune my body throughout the year, because at any moment you can get that call. My work and my mindset have improved dramatically and by November 18 I’ll be exactly where I need to be.”

 The Las Vegas-native will fight in his hometown for the 19th time as a professional and as always, the first Las Vegas-born world champion hopes to make “Sin City” proud with his performance.

“My city has supported me since day one,” said Smith. “It feels great to headline another show in my hometown. Through my up and downs my fans have always been there and supported me and this fight won’t be any different; All I can do is get out there and put on a hell of a show. It’s a special feeling to have home court advantage.”

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Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 and www.ticketmaster.com.

Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. and features Lionell Thompsonclashing with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout plus unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.

Julian Williams-Ishe Smith set for November 18

LAS VEGAS (October 23, 2017) – Former world champion Ishe Smith battles top 154-pound contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams in a 10-round super welterweight clash that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.

In the co-feature, Lionell Thompson clashes with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.

“This card is going to bring it,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “The fans will be presented with variety; veterans and prospects going head-to-head and tough fighting styles meshing come fight night. The main event between Ishe Smith and Julian Williams is going to be an exciting battle! I think Ishe and Julian are going to put on a great show. Both fighters are very tough competitors and fight with everything they have. We also have a great undercard line-up. This is going to be an all-around exciting night of boxing for the fans.”

“This is the kind of show that presents something for every boxing fan,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Ishe Smith is a former champion who still has title aspirations. He’s going up against a young hungry contender on the comeback trail in Julian Williams. Earl Newman will be taking a major step up when he takes on Lionell Thompson in the co-feature and both Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. It all adds up to a fun night for boxing fans.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com.

The 39-year-old Smith (29-8, 12 KOs) won his world championship with a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23, 2013 to become the first Las Vegas-native to win a world title. He has also challenged top fighters such as Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs and most recently defeated Tommy Rainone and Frank Galarza in his last two bouts.

Lionell Thompson (18-4, 11 KOs) is on the trail of a 175-pound world championship and he hasn’t taken the easy road, having challenge the likes of Sergey Kovalev and Radivoje Kalajdzic in his pro career. The 32-year-old out of Buffalo, N.Y. is coming off a knockout victory over Steve Lovett in his last fight on Feb. 24. The last time he fought at the Cosmopolitan, he defeated Donovan George by unanimous decision on Sept. 16, 2016.

Unbeaten prospect Earl Newman (10-0-1, 7 KOs) will be taking a big step forward in taking on his toughest competition to date in Thompson. The 26-year-old Brooklyn-native is coming off a split draw against Paul Parker onSept. 19 after winning his first 10 pro fights.

A 2012 Olympic Silver medalist from Mongoloa, Tugstsogt Nyambayar (8-0, 8 KOs) now fights out of Carson, California. The 25-year-old turned pro in March of 2015 with a first round knockout of Gabriel Braxton. Since then, Nyambayar has stopped every opponent in his path, including most recently scoring a 10thround TKO over Jhon Gemino in February.

The unbeaten 19-year-old prospect Xavier Martinez (9-0, 5 KOs) will face his toughest test as a pro when he enters the ring on November 18. Representing Sacramento, Martinez has scored two victories in 2017 having stopped Jesus Aguinaga in September after earning a decision over then unbeaten Prince Smalls in June.