Saturday, 18 November 2017
Julian Williams and Ishe Smith meet tonight in Las Vegas.
Tonight at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas two extremely talented fighters meet in a crossroads bout with significant importance.. Ishe Smith seems to have been around forever debuting back in 2000, whilst hungry young Julian Williams has much to prove with just 7 years professional experience, yet defeat for either man, could prove costly to their respective futures.
I’ve known Ishe Smith for over 20 years, I’ve watched this young man come from the rough streets of North Las Vegas to the pinnacle of his chosen sport battling demons along the way.. In 2004 with a crisp looking record of 15-0, Ishe made a high profile appearance in the popular Contender tv series, losing only by split decision to eventual winner Sergio Mora.. Ishe would win 6 of his next 8, before in 2009 losing a unanimous decision to Future Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs for the NABO title he once held.. a year later following a loss to Fernando Guerrero, Ishe went on a 3 fight winning streak, signed to Mayweather Promotions and achieved a lifelong dream, scoring a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage to claim the IBF world championship, becoming the first Nevada born fighter to win a world title.
Unfortunately Smith would lose the title 7 months later with a lacklustre showing against Carlos Molina, followed by a couple of high profile losses to Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan ending 2015 with a record of 27-8.. Smith rebounded with two solid wins since then, first over tough Tommy Rainone in 2015, and more recently a MD over Frank Galarza in September of 2016.. A year out of the ring is not ideal, but in Ishes case can be dismissed, he’s rarely out of the Gym and is the model pro.. Smith has had to endure horrendous personal tragedy over the last year and it’s a testament to him, that he is jumping back into such a critical bout..
By 2013 Julian Williams was 14-0 with all but a 2011 draw with Francisco Santana blemishing his record, when he would challenge for unbeaten Hugo Centeno jr for the vacant WBC international title in Las Vegas, a fight that was scored a no contest following an unfortunate clash of heads.. During the next 3 years Williams would amass a 9 fight winning streak, picking up and defending the WBC continental americas title, before meeting Jermall Charlo in a challenge for the IBF title in the December of last year, suffering three knockdowns before being knocked out in the fifth round in what would be a damaging first pro loss..
Julian returned last June with an impressive 7th round stoppage of once beaten Joshua Conley in Ohio, which leads us to this fight.. The scars of defeat for Williams are still relatively raw, and Ishe Smith is nobody’s push over, with only career losses coming at the hands of the very best..
Julian is 23-1-1 (15 Ko’s) while Smith is 29-8 (12 Ko’s) and while Smith is 12 years Williams’ senior he is also vastly more experienced.. it’s an intriguing fight.