By Sam Geraci and Lindy Lindell at ringside
Photos: Tom Casino / Showtime
Jr middleweight Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (25-5, 11 KOs) dethroned IBF champion and local hero Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (32-5, 19 KOs) via twelve round split decision on Saturday night at the Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. It was an ugly fight full of holding and wrestling. Smith outworked the tiring 39-year-old down the stretch to win by scores of 116-111, 116-111 on two cards. The third card was 114-113 for Bundrage. Bundrage was deducted a point in round two for hitting Smith after he was pushed down. Ishe become the first ever Las Vegas-born world boxing champion.
Undefeated local middleweight J’Leon Love (15-0, 8 KOs) maintained his perfect record with a ten round unanimous decision against aggressive strongman and late sub Derrick “Superman” Findley (20-9, 13 KOs). Scores were 100-90, 99-91, 99-91.
Rising super middleweight prospect Badou Jack (13-0, 9 KOs) of Stockholm, Sweden, now fighting of the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas, NV, remained undefeated by scoring a unanimous decision over Dan Mouton (11-5-1, 9 KOs) of Houston, TX, with three scores of 78-74.
Super middleweight Luis Arias (3-0, 1 KO) of Milwaukee, WI, scored a TKO at 2:23 of the first round over an undersized Edgar Perez (5-3, 3 Kos) of Puerto Rico. Arias scored two knockdowns. The first was scored with a right hook to the body and the second, which ended the bout, was scored with a left hook to the body.
Super middleweight Terrell Gausha (3-0, 2 KOs) of Cleveland, OH, defeated a rugged but outclassed Lekan Byfield (2-4-2) of Tarrytown, NY, by unanimous decision with three scores of 40-36.
Joseph Bonas (1-0, 1 KO) of Detroit, MI, made his pro debut by scoring a TKO at 55 seconds of the first round over Coy Witt (2-3, 1 KO) of Pounding, VA. Bonas scored two knockdowns.
Junior lightweight Braulio Santos (9-0, 8 KOs) of Carolina, PR, scored a TKO at 1:19 of the first round over Terrance Walker (0-3) of Grand Rapids, MI, in a bout that probably shouldn’t have happened. Santos controlled every second and scored three knockdowns (one which was a standing eight count) while Walker might not have been credited with throwing a significant punch.
In a stunning upset, cruiserweight Steve Geffrard (0-1) of Miami, FL, who was recently signed by Golden Boy, was stopped on cuts by Kentrell Claiborne (3-6, 2 KO) of Shreveport, LA, at 2:19 of the third round. Geffrard controlled the first and second with his work rate but could was unable to hurt Claiborne, who couldn’t miss with looping right hands that caused the cuts above Geffrard’s left eye in the third.
In the first bout of the evening, light heavyweight D’mitrius Ballard (1-0, 1 KO) of Temple Hills, MD, made his pro debut by stopping Kelly Henderson (0-2) of Bluefield, WV, at 1: 06 in the first round. Ballard scored three knockdowns before the fight was mercifully stopped; Henderson did not belong in the ring against Ballard.