Ishe Smith targeting Cotto, Angulo!

By B. Artest


Ishe Smith targeting Cotto, Angulo!

BT: Congrats on your recent win, can you give us some thoughts about your peformance?  "I thought it was a good performance.  I'm not going to say it was great, I thought we did well, I thought we performed well.  Most importantly, I thought I executed the game plan well, the plan that Eddie Mustafa wanted me to execute." 

BT: Was there anything about Wolak that surprised you?

Ishe Smith: I didn't go into this fight thinking I was going to stop him, until maybe late.  It was his heart and determinatinon, and really the tapes that we watched, his pressure.  He had so much pressure, I didn't think that his pressure was so fluent.  It bothered me at times, and I can see why he stopped a lot of people, because he takes their will.  I wasn't going to let him take mine.

BT:  Were you at all concerned about getting the decision because you were fighting in New York?

IS:  Oh yeah, definitely.  I was worried that I was in his hometown, it was so loud in there, it was like a soccer stadium.  That had to be the loudest fight that I've ever been in.  It was so loud, and there were only about 2000 people, but it felt as though there were 10,000-20,000 people there.

BT:  You threw a lot more punches that we're used to seeing you throw, did you tire at any point during the fight?

IS:  Definitely.  They called about maybe five to four weeks and asked if I would take the fight.  I was concerned with the shortness of my training camp, and I talked to Eddie (Mustafa) about it.  We worked real hard with the window that we had.  I definitely felt that in the later rounds, but I wasn't going to let him break my will.  I got tired, I was tired early in round 3 or 4, then around the 7th, I think I got my second wind.  I got tired in spots in that fight.

BT: Where do you go from here?

IS:  I don't know.  I think I'm going to let my team, Greg Leon, and everybody else, Eddie, let them decide what's next.  I just do the fighting, and I always want the best.  Hopefully, I'll get another big fight, and I'll go out there and put on a performance that they, the people want to see.  I'm happy that I'm with Eddie Mustafa, I love what he brings to the table, I love training with him, he's good for my career, and I'm glad that we hooked up.  

BT: Who do you want to fight the most?

IS: If I had to choose who I want to fight the most right now, it would probably be Angulo.  I would love to fight him, or maybe Latimore, someone like that.  To be honest, I just want to fight the best.  To me, those guys are pretty much the best in the division.  They're right there, someone like Alex Bunema, someone like that.  I never want to feel like I'm not fighting the best he division has to offer.  Pawel Wolak wasn't the best, but he was the best they had to offer.  He was 21-0, and he was undefeated.  I went to his hometown, his backyard, to beat him.  No one can ever question that I've always fought the best my division has to offer.

BT: I know that your advisor would love to make a fight between you and Miguel Cotto, how do you feel about that fight?

IS:  I think Cotto's a great champion, he's a great fighter.  I don't think he should hold his head down at all for the performance that he put on.  I think he fought well, he gave it all he had, it's just Margarito was so determined.  I would love to mix it up with Cotto.  Anywhere from 147-154, I will fight, and I just want to fight the best.  If that's a fight that gets made, I'm happy with it, if not, we'll just look for something else. 

BT: How many fights removed from a title shot do you feel you are?

IS:  I know where I'm at, I don't get hit a lot.  I have superb defense, and the offese Eddie has instilled in me, maybe a few fights, maybe two to three.  I know what position I'm in.  I need a few more wins like that one, against good opponents.  That fight with Wolack was exciting, crowd pleasing, there was never really a dull moment.  A few more like that, maybe three or four fights, realistically.  I'm happy with my team.  Most importantly, I'm happy with my advisor, because I've been screaming for more fights, more fights.  I've been off, in the past two to three years, I've fought three times.  I'm happy with him most importantly, because this year I've fought three times already, and it's only August.  So, if my hat had to go off to anybody, it would be Greg, because he heard my plea, and he got me fights.  He got me back on network television, Showtime, which is a network that I love and grew up on.  I never thought I'd be back on Showtime, and he got me back on Showtime, after everybody was kind of dissapointed in my performance with Julio, not because I fought bad, but because I felt I could do more, which I did too.  What I will say is Greg is a great person to be with.  Who would have thought that when I lost to Julio that I would come back to be on television again?  It was just a blessing that I was able to get back on television.  I thank him a lot.

BT: Are you out to avenge your previous losses? What would you have to do differently to beat the guys you lost to?

IS:  The Sergio Mora loss, I'm not out to avenge that.  If it happens, it happens.  If it doesn't, I'm not mad at it, I think Sergio's a great champion, he's a good fighter.  I don't have anything against Sergio.  The Julio or the Powell loss, I would love to avenge, but the way the politics in boxing are, it's unlikely, unless we all win titles.  The only thing I can do is be busier.  Those fights, especially the Sechew fight, a lot of people thought I won, and some people thought I beat Julio.  If anything, I would say I lost those fights more than they won.  I lost those fights, because I just didn't do enough.

BT:  What's done is done, is there nothing more to prove with these guys?

IS:  It is what it is.  I think those guys feel they same way, they've got victories, and they're going on to bigger and better things.  Sechew just lost to Latimore, I don't know what's next for him.  I think Julio's going to try and get some big fights, my hat goes off to him.  I think I lost the fight more than he won it, and hopefully I can go on to bigger and better things.  I feel revived, I was having a lot of litle personal problems during those times.  Now that I'm with Greg, and Eddie, the sky is the limit.  I feel better than my old self, back in 2003.  I'm just older and wiser now, and smarter.  I told everybody that kept saying that I was a better fighter, I'm a better fighter now.  I'm smarter, I don't get hit a lot, I think I showd that on August 1st.

BT: Closing thoughts?

IS: I just want to thank the fans, my team, Eddie, Greg, Stitch, Sal, definitely Ray, for all the support and help, making it great.  It was a great camp.  We had a good time, and we did what we had to do.  We turned a four to five week camp into an eight week camp, and we came out victorious.