By: Bryant Romero
Super welterweight contenders Tony Harrison and former world champion Ishe Smith will face off with one another on Friday May 11 at the Sam’s Town Hotel in Las Vegas with the winner of this bout inching closer to title contention. A lot is on the line for both combatants heading into this crossroads bout as the winner will move on to better things, which could mean a title eliminator in the near future. The loser will suffer another setback and will have to rebuild towards fighting at the world class level again.
Photo Credit: Chris Farina/Mayweather Promotions
The 39-year-old Smith (29-9, 12 KOs) is an 18 year veteran of the fight game and has been in the ring and sparred with the best in the world from different generation of fighters. Smith is looking to keep his momentum going as he’s coming off a close debatable loss to Julian Williams in his last bout, though many in attendance felt Smith was the deserved winner despite the scorecards awarding Williams with the unanimous decision win. Smith will now look to use his experience and veteran tactics to upset another young fighter who is looking to get back in title contention.
““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,” Smith said.
Tony Harrison (26-2, 21 KOs) from Detroit is the odds favorite in this fight, though Harrison at the top level hasn’t proved whether he deserves to be as high as a 4-1 favorite heading into this bout and fighting in the hometown of Ishe Smith. Harrison showed promise early in his career and the Promotion had hoped with the charisma that he has, that perhaps they could’ve developed him into a marquee star, but he’s suffered setbacks in his two step up fights that would have taken him into another level had he won those fights.
Harrison has since bounced back with two wins in stay busy fights since the devastating stoppage loss to current unified super welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd in Harrison’s only world title opportunity thus far in his career. The 27-year-old is very still motivated to get into the ring and get back into title contention with a win over Smith this Friday night.
“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,” Harrison said.
In the co-feature bout, Andrew Tabiti (15-0, 9 KOs) will look to keep his undefeated record intact when he takes on veteran Lateef Kayode (21-2, 16 KOs) in a ten round cruiserweight bout.