Kevin H. (Atlanta, GA): As an Adrien Broner fan, I think his loss to Porter was more of what he didn’t do than what Porter did. How did you rate his performance and where do you think he goes next?
Vivek W. (ESB): I would have to totally disagree. To the contrary, I think what we witnessed last Saturday night had everything to do with what Porter did, more so than what Broner “didn’t do”. Going into the fight, Porter had the entire deck of cards stacked against him. Everything from the catchweight clause, to the pulse of the promotion itself. It just seemed that all elements involved tilted towards Broner. Few places in life breed absolute truth like a boxing ring. In dialog, any man can speak big and paint a scripted picture. But in the ring, there’s no way to avoid the evolution of reality. Continue reading
He was heavily criticized for over-shooting the 172 lb catch-weight limit against Andre Ward last weekend by 4.4 lbs in a fight that from before the first bell, there was only ever one winner – and come the 9th round a bloodied and battered Smith was mercifully halted in what, according to trainer Joe Gallagher, should be the last fight of Paul Smith’s long career.
He said in the Liverpool Echo;
“I’ve told Paul to probably consider retiring now.” Continue reading
American pound for pound great Andre Ward made his long anticipated return to the squared circle last Saturday when he defeated Paul Smith by 9th round stoppage. The bout, which took place in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, was Ward’s first in 19 months. Ward dominated Smith from start to finish, and his victory proves that he should still be considered one of the absolute elite talents in the boxing world, even following his lengthy layoff. Ward hasn’t seemed to have lost a step.
The match between Ward and Smith took place at an agreed upon catch weight of 172 pounds (although Smith missed the mark by almost 4 and a half pounds). Does this catch weight signify a crossroads moment in Ward’s impressive career? Continue reading
By W. White: Last Saturday night, as I observed Super Middleweight champion Andre Ward (28-0, 14KO’s) disassemble Britton Paul Smith (35-6, 20 KO’s) from press row, I had questions. What was the purpose them fighting at a 172lb catch weight? Did Paul Smith purposely coming overweight to give him some sort of advantage? Is this a fight the general boxing public really wanted to see? How would Andre Ward perform given his 19 month absence from the ring? Who could possibly be next after this fight? As the fight progressed and I observed Ward tactfully picking his spots with his jab and sneaking in straight rights through Smith’s guard, I realized it was only a matter of time.
Ward kept Smith in the middle of the ring circling, probing, and striking routinely as Smith surprisingly continued to move forward. By the middle rounds, Smith’s face was flush and beginning to swell. It would seem as if this was just an over-hyped sparring match for Ward to continue to pick a part his opponent and shake of any ring dust. I say dust because there was an apparent lack of rust as Ward seemed sharp, movement wise, defensively and in overall ring generalship. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Roc Nations Sports) Andre Ward resurfaced after a long absence and steamrolled British super middleweight Paul Smith at the Oracle Arena in Ward’s native Oakland, Cal. Ward spent two of his best years away from the prize ring due to legal and promotional disputes. He came back as shiny as new and kept his opponent in the crossfire for 9 rounds before the bloodied Smith was bailed out by his corner.
If there was any ring rust, it was shadowed by the skill differential which gave Ward full convenience. Coming from a 19 month layoff he was not expected to choose a tough challenge although Smith was no push over. The Brit went the distance twice with Arthur Abraham in his last two fights. This probably legitimized him as an opponent for Ward who did much better than Abraham. The American was on a different level and had an indecently easy time against his tough but over-matched foe. Ward exhibited his boxing talent and his speed allowed him to do whatever he pleased in the ring. There was a catch though, the catch weight clause. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Roc Nation Sports) Call it a cliché, Newton’s third law of motion or Karma or whatever you like; it’s a fact of daily life, in all forms, that for every action there is a reaction.
This is especially true of professional sports in which human beings have forever sought to gain an unfair advantage in a perceived fair world.
There are few sports to which this statement can be most aptly applied down the years than boxing. That’s not to say other sports don’t have their problems, corruption is of course prevalent in almost all walks of life and all forms of business in modern society. Continue reading
By Waldon White: Earlier today, WBC super middleweight champion Andre S.O.G. Ward (27-0 14 KO’s) and challenger Paul “Real Gone Kid” Smith (35-5, 20 KO’s) came together to weigh in for Saturday nights main event at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Fellow Roc Nation fighter Miguel Cotto also stopped by for a photo op. Ward weighed in at 171.8lbs, looking lean and ready to fight. Paul Smith weighed in at 176.4 lbs, which was 4.4 lbs. over the agreed upon 172 catch-weight.
Smith’s camp decided to accept the fine rather than lose the additional weight required of all professional fighters. Smith may somehow think that the extra weight may give him an advantage over Ward, who has not fought since 2013. Continue reading
(Photo credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos) Former P4P boss Andre Ward – removed from most lists through his 19 months of inactivity – is keen to make a statement on Saturday night when he fights Britain’s Paul Smith in his Oakland backyard, insisting to Sky Sports – who are screening the bout – that he is out to tell the world he is back.
It’s a monumental task that the Liverpool fighter is facing – irrespective of Ward’s inactivity – and the former 168 lb world title challenger will further be hindered by the 172 lb catch-weight insisted on by the American. Continue reading
OAKLAND, CA (June 17, 2015) – Roc Nation Sports hosted the final press conference for the June 20 showdown between Olympic Gold Medalist and WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KO’s) and former World Title Challenger Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KO’s) on Wednesday, June 17 in front of City Hall in Oakland, California. Along with the main event participants, undercard fighters Meng Fanlong and Wang Zhimin were also in attendance. Other speakers included David Itskowitch (COO – Boxing Roc Nation Sports), James Prince (Ward Manager), Virgil Hunter (Ward Trainer), Joe Gallagher (Smith Trainer) and Lynette Gibson McElhaney (Council President – City of Oakland). Continue reading
(Photo credit: Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Roc Nation Sports) Despite it being his first fight in over a year and a half on Saturday, Andre Ward is in confident mood ahead of his in-ring return against Britain’s Paul Smith, with all signs pointing toward it being nothing but routine business for the American fighter against a man expected to be hopelessly outgunned.
One Brit who Ward was interested in facing once more, is Carl “Will he, Won’t he retire?” Froch – whom the American comprehensively outclassed back in 2011. Continue reading