Tonight Paul Smith is in the biggest fight of his career as he takes on Arthur Abraham for the WBO super-middleweight title.
Smith has got this shot due to his high ranking with the WBO. Ranked #5, Smith makes an attractive option for a voluntary defense for Abraham; backed by Sky, he is the most well known and lucrative potential opponent in the top 10 that a fight could realistically be made with.
Smith’s ranking of #5 is surprising given that since his defeat to George Groves in 2011, he has only beaten three journeyman level opponents and a faded Tony Dodson.
In fact, over his career, he has not beaten an unbeaten fighter.
That defeat to Groves and the stoppage defeat suffered by Smith against Degale a year earlier; makes it hard to see past a stoppage win for Abraham tonight.
Smith has not fought at a high level since Degale and Groves; so it’s hard to see how he can jump to world level and take the title. Abraham meanwhile, has rebuilt after his defeats to Froch and Ward to take the WBO title from Robert Stieglitz.
Most importantly, Abraham has the experience of fighting the best in the division and has a 70% KO ratio in his wins. Smith showed against Degale and Groves that he could be hurt, so if Abraham is near his best, the odds of 8/13 represent a great price.
Promoter Kalle Sauerland has said that Abraham needs motivation to perform at his best; fighting in front of thousands of vocal travelling British fans could just be the push for him to put on a show.
Back: Abraham to win by KO/TKO/DQ 8/13
By – upstartboxing.com