The highly anticipated return to the ring of WBA Middleweight World Champion and Olympic Gold medalist Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KO’s) against former World Title Challenger Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KO’s) of England on June 20 has been elevated to another level with the announcement that the event will now include a live musical performance by Los Angeles-based rapper Nipsey Hussle immediately before Ward and Smith do battle. Fans will also be able to catch the action and performance live on BET Networks in the United States and globally on TIDAL.com, the newly launched music streaming service that combines the best high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and expertly curated editorial.
Liverpool’s super middleweight contender and former world title challenger Paul Smith goes into the lion’s den on June 20th when he travels to California and attempts to upset the returning Andre Ward in a fight many are viewing as an uphill struggle for the Brit – who is coming off back-to-back losses against Germany’s Arthur Abraham.
Speaking to fighthype.com, Smith was honest in his appraisal of his chances in the fight and clearly recognises he is a big underdog. However, he believes he can upset the odds if he boxes a smart fight – and is buoyed by the American’s inactivity – Ward last stepped through the ropes back in November of 2013.
Paul Smith will face Andre Ward on June 20 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on BET in the United States.
Smith has landed a date with the unbeaten WBA Super Middleweight king following his stellar performances taking Arthur Abraham deep in two challenges for the German’s WBO World title in Germany, and the Liverpool favourite takes on the toughest task of his career with his confidence high.
So after much rumour and speculation, the confirmation has finally arrived, and it will be Britain’s Paul Smith (35-5, 20ko) who squares off in the opposite corner to the returning Andre Ward (27-0, 14ko) on June 20th in Oakland, California.
Ward is one of America’s best in my opinion, and despite a 19 month lay-off will walk into this non-title bout a heavy betting favourite against the Liverpool fighter, who has been cruelly referred to by fans as “not even the best super middleweight in the Smith family” in reference to younger brother, undefeated 168lb contender Callum Smith (15-0, 11ko).
BET Networks is pleased to announce that it is stepping into the ring with Roc Nation Sports as their exclusive broadcast partner to air live throne boxing events on the network.
WBO 168 pound champion Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) closed the book on the Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KOs) in handing him his fifth career loss in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany. Smith fought Abraham to a standstill in the first three rounds of the fight, but in the 4th, Abraham hurt Smith a right hand that caused him to lose his legs for a second.
Smith came back later and had a good round in the 6th after hurting Abraham with a beautiful left to the body. But instead of continuing to go to the body in the remainder of the fight, Smith wasted his efforts in throwing shots into the high guard of Abraham. Those shots were blocked, and this enabled Abraham to dominate from the 7th round. The final judges’ scores were 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111.
photo by S. Heger – Paul Smith, 35-4 (20KO’s), travels back across enemy lines tonight when he faces WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, 41-4 (28KO’s), in Berlin.
It’s been 6 months since the absorbing first bout was marred by some confusing scorecards and in the case of Fernando Laguna’s 119-109 sheet – comical. But, the right decision has been arrived upon and the challenger aims to take full advantage.
“I always thought that this rematch would come. I would be lying if I didn’t think that it might not come off for one reason or another, the only doubt I had really was that he wouldn’t want the fight as he knows that he was in a hard and close fight.
Arthur Abraham (41-4, 28 KOs) and Paul Smith (35-4, 20 KOs) both made weight today ahead of their WBO World Super Middleweight Championship rematch on Saturday night at the O2 World in Berlin, Germany. The fighters took to the scales in front of raucous crowd of close to thousand German and British fans at the capital’s famous Berlin Mall.
Full list of weights below:
WBO World Super Middleweight Championship:
Arthur Abraham: 76.1 kg
Paul Smith: 75.1 kg
Heavyweight – 10 Rounds:
David Price: 114.8 kg
Irineu Beato Costa Junior: 119.5 kg
Paul Smith says that the confidence from his first clash with Arthur Abraham and the improvements in the gym means he will be taking the WBO World Super Middleweight title back to Liverpool after the pair rematch on Saturday at O2 World in Berlin, live on Sky Sports. Smith pushed Abraham to the limit when the pair met for the Armenian-German’s belt in September in Kiel, where the champion held onto his belt but controversy reigned over the wide-margins in the scoring after such a close contest.
The Liverpool favourite landed the rematch he craved in December and has been working tirelessly in the gym with trainer Joe Gallagher to build upon the confidence from their first meeting and perfect a plan to leave the result in no doubt. Smith feels primed to rip the title from a champion that he respects, but does not believe can offer anything more than he did in their first meeting.
If Paul Smith can become the WBO world champion in his fight against Arthur Abraham he is promised a huge fight. Who that would be is unsure but Eddie Hearn has tossed around names such as James DeGale, George Groves or Carl Froch even. Whether any of these type of fights will come off remains to be seen but first of all Smith has to pull the Abraham victory out of the bag.
In the first fight I had Smith losing to Abraham but the scores must have been closer than the ones the judges has on the night. 111-117 twice and 109-119, were the final scores and the moment they were announced there was outrage amongst the Smith fans.