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Ishe Smith: "Floyd Mayweather is hated on because he's the best"

J Updated
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"It's lonely at the top, and I'm tired of having company"
- Rapper Wiz Khalifa

In boxing, it's often said that major world titles bring even bigger opportunities.

Former IBF Junior Middleweight Champion Ishe Smith will be looking for his second piece of major hardware this evening as he takes on incumbent WBA title holder and Cuban exile Erislandy Lara at the world renowned Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The 36 year old prizefighter insists his affiliation with head trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. has mentally prepared him for this big opportunity in the Lone Star State.

"Being around them has prepared me for these big stages," admits Ishe Smith. "It's been great for my career. I've been with Eddie now for seven years, and I've known Floyd since I was ten years old. Floyd coming in and signing me has been great. Just being around him and seeing him become possibly the greatest fighter ever has been amazing."

The fourteen year pro is proud of his relationship with the biggest star in boxing, and admittedly takes exception to most of the bad press that has frequented the popular TMT leader as of late.

In the attached video interview, Ishe claims that the rampant discontent is merely a product of Floyd's great success.

"When Muhammad Ali fought, he got a lot of bad press too," observes the former IBF Junior Middleweight title holder. "People hated Ali. Now look. Everybody loves Ali. He can't go anywhere without a standing ovation."

"Floyd Mayweather is hated because he's the greatest at his sport. All you have to do is go look at the greatest athletes of their sport, and you'll see that the majority of them are hated."

"Peyton Manning is hated because they say he doesn't win the big game. Lebron James has been hated for a long time, and the list goes on."

"When you're the best, you're going to get hated on. Floyd Mayweather is a great friend of mine.

"He's like a big brother and he's done a lot for my career. I see the deeds that he does day in and day out. I know the type of man that he is and when you're the best at something, this just comes with the territory."

Ishe Smith will challenge Erislandy Lara this evening for the WBA Junior Middleweight title this evening at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The scheduled twelve round contest will be televised on Showtime Special Edition with a start time of 10:15 ET.
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