Ishe Smith beats Cornelius Bundrage on points to win IBF light-middleweight title
Ishe Smith claimed a split-decision victory over Cornelius Bundrage to win the IBF light-middleweight world title.
Last Updated: 24/02/13 12:09pm
Smith outworked the hometown favourite in Detroit to earn the win by margins of 116-111 on two of the judges' scorecards, while the third saw it 114-113 for Bundrage.
The 34-year-old, who is promoted by Floyd Mayweather, improved to 25-5 with 11 wins inside the distance as he became a world champion for the first time.
"It means everything. I didn't think I'd be here man," said Smith, who admitted that he once contemplated suicide as his career and personal life went off the rails.
Bundrage was the aggressor for most of the bout as he kept Smith on the back foot with his jab, but the younger fighter came on strong in the later rounds.
Smith rocked Bundrage with a flurry of shots in the ninth round and went on to close out the win despite the champion enjoying strong support from his local crowd.
Bundrage said: "Ishe just fought a good fight. He won the fight fair and square. I didn't follow instructions. He won it. He won the fight. Congratulations to him."