A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Ishe Smith Tames K-9
Championship boxing return to the Motor City as two Contender series alumni fought for the IBF Junior Middleweight title in a bout promoted by Floyd Mayweather, who occasionally fights. The 39 year old Cornelius Bundrage has won four of his last five fights with one no contest. Bundrage is one of two former The Contender realty show alumni to have won a title. His opponent, Ishe Smith was fighting for his first world title and he was hoping to become the third fighter from the Contender series to win a title.
Before the main event, the undefeated Detroit native J’Leon Love faced veteran Derrick Findley in a ten round Middleweight attraction. Love moved around the ring in the opening round, while launching quick punches against the smaller Findley, who needed to get inside of Love. Findley found himself often getting smothered when he succeeded getting inside of Love. Findley trapped Love in the corner over the opening minute of the fourth round but Love escaped and used his jab to set up combinations that sent Findley reeling into the rope. Love found his rhythm and those combinations t hurt Findley. The big punches were Love’s right hand that twice shook Findley and Love added some effective punches to the body.
Findley came back in the fifth round as a left hook hurt Love and forced Love to retreat to the rope. He dug hooks to Love’s body. Sixth round proved to be a scrappy round as both fighters laid some leather on each other but Findley took the fight to Love.
Throughout the seventh and eighth round, Love used his movement and his jab set up solid right hands. As the eighth round ended, Findley right eye started to swell due to Love’s jab. This continued into the ninth round as Love’s mobility allowed him to throw combinations. In the tenth and final rounds, Findley went for broke as he attacked Love with hooks and overhand of rights. After losing most of the tenth round, Love turned it on in the last minute as he nailed Findley with left jabs and short accurate right hands. Love won an easy decision 100-90, 99-91, 99-91 but the fight was closer than the scorecard. Love moved consistently but he wasn’t just running but using his mobility to set up combinations.
At the age of 39, Bundrage may have been fighting not just Smith but Father Time. Smith came out tentative as he did little punching while allowing Bundrage to set the pace as he landed some excellent left-right combinations over the first three rounds. Bundrage lost a point for hitting Smith on the side while Smith was down from a slip in the second round, but still control the round with his jab. Smith had trouble finding Bundrage with his punches over the first three rounds. In the fourth round, Smith landed a blistering right hand that sent Bundrage back on his heel and this was the big punch of the round.
Many of the rounds were close with one or two punches determining the winner. In the seventh round, Smith did manage to land two significant punches as Bundrage moved around the ring. Bundrage did not show aggressiveness that he showed in the early rounds and at times, he allowed Smith opportunity to steal the round.
Smith managed to land a four punch combination near the end of the ninth round that included two big right hands to win the round. With the three rounds left, the bout was mostly a battle of left jab followed by right cross but in the tenth round, Smith landed variety of punches that included not just left jabs and right cross but also left hooks. Smith started to control the fight and now had two rounds to see if he could become the third member of the Old Contender series to win a title.
The eleventh round saw Bundrage landing some good right hands and left hooks but Smith landed a solid right that sent Bundrage reeling into the rope. Smith landed combinations but Smith got countered with a Bundrage right that sent Smith retreating. Going into the final round, Bundrage needed a strong round to possibly keep his title and over the final minute, Smith landed four rights that landed solidly. Ishe Smith connected nearly doubled of the punches over the second half of the fight so he was the stronger fighter over the second half of the fight. And Smith managed to win a split decision as he won the IBF Junior Middleweight division championship.
In Heavyweight side of the boxing event Saturday night, two big fights occurred. Malik Scott faced Vyacheslav Glazkov in a battle of undefeated fighters. Scott began the first two rounds by jabbing and controlling real estate between him and Glazkov. Glazkov managed to get inside more in the fifth round as he attempted to slow Scott down in an effort to reduce the technical advantages of Scott. Scott dominated the action in the ring as his jab was the most decisive punch but the judges disagreed as they ruled it a draw. Sorry, but this was a bad decision and NBC announcer BJ Flores observed, “This was easy to score.” I doubt we will see a rematch since I doubt Glazkov will want to face Scott again. In England, the highly rated Heavyweight prospect and former undefeated David Price got splattered by American Heavyweight Tony Thompson in two rounds.