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.
Smith had a bad habit of retreating to the ropes at least two times per round, and Abraham was able to land flurries each time to the head to impress the judges. By the 9th, Smith was offering up very little in return in terms of offense. Abraham was able to tee off on Smith with big right hand power shots in the last four rounds of the fight.
It’s unclear whether Smith was worn out from all the right hands he’d eaten in the last four rounds, or if it was a training issue. Whatever the case, Smith looked visibly fatigued in the last four rounds, and this enabled Abraham to dominate with his power shots.
Abraham had beaten Smith last year in September in winning a 12 round decision, but Smith complained about the loss until Abraham finally decided to fight him again in order to prove to him that his victory wasn’t a fluke thing.
Smith came alive in the 12th round and fought well, but it was too little too late. Abraham had already dominated the majority of the rounds with the exception of the 6th and 12th.
In undercard action, British heavyweight David Price (19-2, 16 KOs) defeated Brazilian Irineu Beato Costa Junior (16-3, 14 KOs in stopping him in the sixth round. Price knocked Costa Junior down three times in the round. Two of the knockdowns were from body shots, and the third from a right hand to the head. It was a good win for Price, but he’s going to need to be a lot less cautious if he wants to beat the better fighters in the division.
Other boxing action on tonight’s card:
Mirco Ricci UD 12 Enrico Koelling
Josh Warrington TKO 5 Edwin Tellez
Noel Gevor UD 8 Alejandro Emilio Valori