- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Former junior middleweight titlist Ishe Smith will face an opponent to be determined on April 30 on ESPN2’s special Thursday night edition of “Friday Night Fights” at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, according to the network.
The card is two nights before Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao down the Strip from the MGM Grand, host of the big fight.
The ESPN2 card, being put on by Mayweather Promotions, was supposed to be headlined by lightweight titlist Mickey Bey in his mandatory defense against Denis Shafikov. Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank, Shafikov’s promoter, even made an unexpected deal rather than going to purse bid. However, while there were no issues between the promoters, the fight was called off because Bey was unhappy with his purse for the fight, which was supposed to be around $200,000.
So while the purse bid for the fight has been rescheduled for April 14, Smith (26-7, 12 KOs), 36, of Las Vegas, will slide into the new main event even though he has done little in recent bouts to merit the position.
He is 1-2 in his last three bouts with the losses coming to quality opponents and the win coming against a journeyman he was supposed to beat. Smith lost his belt to Carlos Molina in September 2013, then knocked out Ryan Davis in the second round in May before losing a lopsided decision to Erislandy Lara in a December title bout.
In the co-feature of the April 30 card, Ashley Theophane (37-6-1, 11 KOs), 34, of England, is slated to face Mahonri Montes (30-4-1, 21 KOs), 25, of Mexico, in a 10-round bout at 143 pounds.
Former junior middleweight titlist Ishe Smith will headline an ESPN2's special edition of "Friday Night Fights" on April 30 in Las Vegas.