Saturday February 23, 2013
Boxing: Bundrage hopes for hometown edge in title defence
DETROIT, Michigan: Ishe Smith heads into hostile territory on Saturday when he challenges Cornelius Bundrage for the International Boxing Federation light middleweight belt in the champion's hometown.
But Smith, promoted by unbeaten welterweight Floyd Mayweather, says fight fans in Detroit won't be able to help Bundrage when they step between the ropes.
"This isn't football. This isn't basketball. You can't yell at the quarterback so he can't have his cadence. You can't wave stuff in the crowd so you can't shoot free throws," Smith said.
"You've got to get in there and you've got to fight, and I've got to fight.
"It's two warriors going at it. And one thing about it - he's going to get touched."
Smith has vowed to become the first fighter from the boxing haven of Las Vegas to win a world title.
After battling through personal and professional travails that once had him contemplating suicide, Smith (24-5, 11 knockouts) said this week that if he didn't walk out of Detroit with the crown, he'd rather not walk out.
"I'd rather go out on my back," he said, "than go home without that title."
Bundrage, who boasts a record of 32-4 with 19 knockouts and still has plenty of punching power at the age of 39, is equally determined not to disappoint his hometown fans as he fights in Detroit for the first time since 2005.
"He's a pillow puncher," Bundrage said. "He's going down. I'll put him down. I'm coming with everything." - AFP