"I know I can punch, and those I have fought know that too."
Having shown his power in his last fight with Carlos De La Cruz two weeks ago, Ishe Smith has positioned himself to go up against one of the game’s biggest punchers in Joel Julio. Smith is out to prove that not only is he a master defensive fighter, but he can stand toe-to-toe with anyone stepping in his way of becoming a world champion. BoxingTalk caught up with Smith recently to get his thoughts about facing Julio, what he will work on in camp to ensure himself a victory, and why Julio will have to work extremely hard just to find Smith in the ring.
BoxingTalk: Ishe, your fight with Joel Julio was just announced for April 30th. When will you start your preparation for your fight with Julio?
Ishe Smith: On Monday. Since this is such a big fight I’m going to camp early. Julio is a big opponent and I want to put on a great performance for all the boxing fans.
BoxingTalk: What does this fight mean for you and your career?
Ishe Smith: This fight is really important to me. Julio is a really good fighter. He’s obviously a puncher with a good record. We’re taking him very serious and training hard for it. We’ll be prepared come April 30th, and we’ll position ourselves to win.
BoxingTalk: In your last fight, you stopped Carlos De La Cruz in under two rounds. What do you feel you took away from that fight that will help you against Julio?
Ishe Smith: You don’t want to go into a fight with a guy like Julio having been off for a year. I know I don’t get paid for overtime work, so that fight with De La Cruz unfortunately went only two rounds, but it was important for me to get the rounds in.
BoxingTalk: Who will be training you for this big fight against Julio?
Ishe Smith: Roger Mayweather.
BoxingTalk: What will you want to work on in camp with him to ensure that you are victorious against Julio on April 30th?
Ishe Smith: I’m just going to continue to be me. I’ll continue to do what I do best which is to train hard and position myself to become victorious. I like how we’re fighting on neutral soil like Vancouver, and not in Florida. I know Julio will come prepared and train really hard, but so will I.
BoxingTalk: Does Julio’s power and high knockout percentage concern you at all?
Ishe Smith: Not at all. Those are just numbers. I was fighting a guy like Randall Bailey early in my career when he had more knockouts than I had fights. I don’t get hit a lot and you can’t hit what you can’t see. He’ll have to work to try and find me.
BoxingTalk: What should Julio be concerned about most in facing Ishe Smith?
Ishe Smith: He’s facing a good boxer who can face any fighting style. My resume is a lot better than his. He’s fought Carlos Quintana and that’s it. He is the only name Julio has fought. People might see my record and see that I don’t have a lot of knockouts, but I was facing guys bigger than me, fighting middleweights while I was at welterweight. I know I can punch and those I have fought know that too.
BoxingTalk: Do you feel your best strategy to defeat Julio is to try to outbox him?
Ishe Smith: It depends on how the fight plays out. I know I’m going to be at my best, and fight the hardest I’ve ever fought. I once made the mistake of leaving a little in the ring when I fought Sechew Powell, and I will not make that mistake again. Against Julio, I’m going to fight better and execute my gameplan.
BoxingTalk: Will you stand toe-to-toe with Julio if you need to?
Ishe Smith: Sure, I know my defense and power is good enough to stand toe-to-toe with him.
BoxingTalk: What would you like to say in closing?
Ishe Smith: I want to thank ESPN for picking this fight, and Main Events for putting it on. I will be ready to put on a great performance, and give the fight fans a great night of boxing.
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