April 20, 2015
April 20, 2015
Ishe Smith

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JUST two days before the historic showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather Promotions will give boxing fans a special treat on Cinco De Mayo weekend when they present the “Sin City Showdown” on Thursday, April 30 headlined by former world champion Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (26-7, 12 KOs) taking on the hard-fighting Cecil McCalla (20-1, 7 KOs) live on a special Thursday edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights from the Pearl at Palms Casino Resort.

In the evening’s co-main event welterweight contender Ashley “The Treasure” Theophane (37-6-1, 11 KOs) will battle Mahonri Montes (29-4-1, 20 KOs). Also featured in televised action is exciting knockout artist Ronald “The Thrill” Gavril (11-1, 9 KOs) duking it out with Eddie Hunter (10-12-2, 3 KOs).

Live coverage will begin at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and will also be available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider. In addition, ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates will carry the fights live.

Further undercard action features a slew of Mayweather Promotions rising stars including Lanell “KO” Bellows (11-1-1 7 KOs) taking on Tyrell Hendrix (11-6-2, 4 KOs), plus  Juan Heraldez (6-0, 5 KOs), Ladarius “Memphis” Miller (6-0, 1 KO) and Kevin “The Second Coming” Newman (1-0-1) competing in separate bouts against opponents to be determined.

“Headlining in my hometown of Las Vegas is always a great thrill and I will not disappoint all the people who come out to watch me fight,” said Smith. “I have aspirations of getting another world title belt and this fight is my first step towards getting another opportunity.”

“I’m thrilled to get back in the ring and show the world what ‘The Treasure’ is all about,” said Theophane. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I am going to make the most of it.”

“While the fight the whole world is waiting for takes place Saturday, Mayweather Promotions is extremely pleased to put on a great night of fights at Palms Casino Resort just days before,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Ishe Smith is an accomplished former world champion and Ashley Theophane is an exciting welterweight who always comes to fight.”

“We’re thrilled to host another great match with Mayweather Promotions,” said Billy Conn, Vice President of Entertainment and Special Events for The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort. “There’s a lot of excitement in the air for boxing fans and this is a great opportunity to see some amazing fighters leading up to the big fight.”

After a long career that saw him go from the world of reality television as a star on “The Contender” to competing at the top level at 154 and 160 pounds, Smith, 36, finally put it all together in 2010, beginning a four-fight winning streak that culminated in a decision win over Cornelius Bundrage for the IBF super welterweight world title in Feb. 2013, becoming the first native Las Vegan to ever win a world title.  He subsequently lost his title on September 14, 2013 by a close split decision to the always-tough Carlos Molina. A knockout victory over Ryan Davis gave Smith another title shot as he challenged Erislandy Lara in Dec. 2014. Smith fought well but was beaten by Lara via unanimous decision.

After an extended amateur career in which he competed in nearly 100 fights, McCalla is looking to bounce back from his first career defeat when he battles Smith. He dropped a narrow split-decision in Jan. 2015 to Chris van Heerden but had won his previous 20 bouts to start his pro career. The 30-year-old fights out of Baltimore and will make his Las Vegas boxing debut on April 30.

An experienced contender from London but fighting out of Las Vegas, Theophane is looking to build on his current four fight win streak when he enters the ring on April 30. The 34-year-old has been in the ring with many 140 and 147-pound contenders including Danny Garcia and Pablo Cesar Cano, losing by narrow split-decision to both. Most recently he dominated Miguel Zuniga on his way to a unanimous decision in Dec. 2014.

Sporting a 55-5 record as an amateur, the heavy-fisted Montes looks to make it back-to-back wins when he takes on Theophane. The 25-year-old is experienced beyond his years as he has fought frequently since turning pro in 2006. He earned a shot at former world champion Humberto Soto in 2013 but dropped the bout by unanimous decision. Most recently the fighter out of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico defeated previously undefeated Diego Cruz in Oct. 2014.

A threat to deliver a big knockout every time he enters the ring, Gavril hopes to bounce back from his first professional loss when he battles Hunter. The 28-year-old dropped a close decision to longtime contender Elvin Ayala on March 28 but had previously won nine of his first 11 pro fights by knockout. Born in Romania, but fighting out of Las Vegas, Gavril looks to get back on the right track on April 30.

The 28-year-old Hunter has lost his last three fights but has certainly faced tough competition having battled undefeated fighters in 13 of his pro fights. Fighting out of Seattle, Hunter will look to pull off an upset on April 30 in Las Vegas.