FORMER world champion Ishe Smith (29-9, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas showed grit and heart in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as he faced hard-hitting contender Julian Williams (24-1-1, 15 KOs) in a thrilling 10-round super welterweight bout. But the young Philadelphian was too much for the 39-year-old Smith as he landed more clean shots despite Smith throwing combination after combination throughout the fight.
Williams came out swinging, landing shots to the head and body throughout the first round. Smith let his hands go in the second round before sustaining an accidental head butt that opened a cut above his left eye. Williams took advantage of the cut into the third round landing several right hands, but Smith was not deterred as he threw combinations of his own. Midway through the fifth, Smith threw several flurries of punches staggering Williams. But Williams bounced back quickly landing a hard uppercut.
In the seventh round, Smith landed a hard left hook to the body of Williams. A second accidental head butt stopped the action in the eighth as blood poured over Smith’s eye. The ninth round saw action from both sides, but ended with Smith throwing several combinations to the end the round. There was a third accidental head butt in the 10th caused Smith to double over, but he showed his veteran spirit and finished the fight. In the end, the judges ruled a unanimous decision victory in favor of Williams with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.
“I came out and fought my ass off,” said Smith. “The judges saw what they saw. This was first time I got cut in a fight so that was weird. The cut was bothering me a little bit, but I was able to weather the storm. He is a good upcoming kid and I think I did the best I could. I could have taken a tune up and fought somebody easier, but I hung in there and gave it my all.”
“The win was good and it was a great experience,” said Williams. “Ishe Smith is a tough customer. There is a reason he’s never been caught. Everyone was talking about his experience, but I’ve got experience too. This is my second world champion I’ve fought. I carried that experience into this fight. He is a gritty veteran and I had to fight on his home turf. It was a great learning experience for me.”
In the co-main event, Lionell Thompson (19-4, 11 KOs) of Buffalo, NY dominated the 10-round light heavyweight bout putting pressure on previously undefeated prospect Earl Newman (10-1-1, KOs) of Brooklyn, NY. Thompson controlled the fight early and working the left hand throughout the second round. He hit Newman with a hard upper cut midway through the third round causing Newman to fall back against the ropes causing Referee Robert Byrd to step in and give Newman a standing eight count, which was ruled a knockdown. With a minute to go in the fourth round, Thompson knocked Newman to the canvas with for the first time in the promising prospect’s career. Newman was slow to get up, but was able to continue to fight.
Newman turned out his best round of the fight in the eighth as he caught Thompson with a counter right hand, landing more punches to Thompson’s head and body. In the 10th and final round, Newman stalked Thompson around the ring as he maintained his composure, finishing the fight much stronger than he started it, but it wasn’t enough. The judges ruled the fight a unanimous decision in favor of Thompson with scores of 96-92 and 97-91 twice.
“I felt great going into this fight and I think it showed in the ring,” said Thompson. “I felt confident, I got two knockdowns early in the fight and I just tried to keep that momentum going. This is a great way to come back after an eight month layoff. My plan is to keep this win streak going.”
“This was my worst performance of my career,” said Newman. “It is the first time I’ve ever been knocked down – as a professional or an amateur. It happens in boxing. He was crafty. He kept moving around and that kind of threw my game plan off. I have to work on my jabs and defense going into my next fight.”
In the opening bout of the telecast, 2012 Olympic silver medallist hailing from Mongoloa, Tugstsogt Nyambayar (9-0, 8 KOs) earned a hard-fought unanimous decision against previously unbeaten Harmonito Dela Torre (19-1, 12 KOs) of Miami. The bout started out close with Nyambayar throwing and landing solid punches, but he got caught with a hard hook in the second, sending him to the canvas. He was able to overcome the knockdown, throwing harder and more accurate punches, opening up a cut over Dela Torre’s right eye in the fifth round. Nyambayar continued to land precise hard punches to the head and body throughout the rest of the fight. In the end, the judges scored it 79-73 and 78-73 twice, all for Nyambayar.
“This fight was a great fight for me. it was the experience I needed,” said Nyambayar. “I was tested after an eight-month layoff. I moved up two weight classes for this fight. He’s much bigger than me. He kept me on my toes and it’s what I need to be a better fighter. He caught me off balance with that knock down, but as you can see that kicked me into gear and I dominated,”
“I didn’t perform my best, there’s some things I need to work on,” said Dela Torre. “I should have got him out of there sooner when I had the opportunity. He was a hungry great opponent and it was a great fight for the fans.”