Ishe Smith's 13-year pro journey hit a high note earlier this year when he beat Cornelius Bundrage for the IBF junior middleweight title on Showtime, and on Saturday night, he'll make his first defense against scrappy, crafty Carlos Molina as part of the Mayweather-Canelo pay-per-view undercard.
Smith, 35, believes he's got too much skill, and is talking like a Mayweather fighter ought to talk, I suppose:
"Skills pay the bills. ... I am going to go in there and implement the gameplan that Eddie Mustafa gives me. ... (Molina) earned it. I like his story. He beat a good friend of mine in Cory Spinks. Cory has seen better days but he earned it. I can't say he beat a lot of big names but he earned his shot. I've fought some big names. I've beat some and I lost to some. After this I am going to send him back to headlining ESPN Friday Night Fights shows."
The "big names" that Ishe has beaten are Bundrage, Pawel Wolak, and Randall Bailey. He also beat Alfonso Gomez when Gomez had one fight under his belt and Ishe had three. The records for Smith (25-5, 11 KO) and Molina (21-5-2, KO) are very similar, really. They've both lost some debatable decisions, and have a few solid wins to their credit. Both are smart, cagey veteran fighters who know their way around the ring.
Who do you like in this one? Will Smith get the benefit of the doubt due to his being the "house fighter"?