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.
Speaking about how he intends to approach the fight, Smith said;
“There’s gonna be a good gameplan from Joe (Gallagher – trainer) and I trust him, whatever he does. We’ve been working on a lot of things, shots – a lot of things that Andre Ward does correctly and wrongly. I’ve watched the best of the fights and the worst of the fights – but that’s down to Joe.”
“He’s a quality fighter and I’ve got to try and not let him be at his best and not let him do the stuff that he does well. I know he’s a strong fighter and I know he’s quality and I’ve got to try and not let him negate what I do.”
“That’s how he wins most of his fights – by making you fight his fight and stopping you doing what you do best. There are many strategies for the fight but sometimes you don’t know until the bell goes. You have to react sometimes rather than just going on the offensive.”
Credit to Smith for taking this fight. He’s being paid well and this is boxing – he could land a shot, Ward could look shocking after his lay-off – you never know.
Though the sensible advice would be not to bet against the American for this one, who, even with the inactivity, is a level or two above Smith in terms of class, and I expect that quality to shine through once more on fight night.
It’s entirely possible Ward will get the stoppage.
The fight will be broadcast on Sky Sports for British fans.