Ishe Smith outpointed Cornelius Bundrage via split decision to lift the IBF junior middleweight title on Saturday in the beltholder’s hometown Detroit. Smith, a 14-year veteran and the first Las Vegas native to win a major title, won by scores of 116-111 (twice).
Bundrage (24-6, 11 knockouts) was awarded a 114-113 tally on one scorecard but the 39-year-old Detroit native was unable to impose his physcial style and big right hand on the more complete 34-year-old challenger.
Smith (33-4, 19 KOs) was overcome with emotion after being announced the winner following the Showtime-televised title fight.
In the co-featured bout to the Championship Boxing broadcast, middleweight prospect J’Leon Love remained unbeaten with a one-sided unanimous decision over aggressive late-sub Derrick Findley. Most observers saw a close fight, one that could gone either way, but the judges favored the stick-and-move style of Love (15-0, 8 KOs), a Detroit native, who won by tallies of 100-90 and 99-91 (twice).
Findley, a substitute for injured veteran Branco McKart, fell to 20-9 (13 KOs) with the loss.
A full ringside report by Corey Erdman will be posted shortly.