Abraham, Still Around, Earns Win Over Smith in Solid Contest

LOTSA LUMPS – As usual, Arthur Abraham looked very strong and he looked very vulnerable.

Abraham, now 41- 4 (28), defended his WBO Super-middleweight title with a wide unanimous decision over inspired British challenger Paul Smith, 35- 4 (20).

The official margins of victory (117-111 twice, 119-109) may have seemed a bit harsh, considering much of the battle was very close. Still, Abraham may have barely won many rounds, but win them he did. That amounted to lopsided scoring. The Sweet Science saw it 118-112.

“I was in control all the time with my jab and I hit him with a lot of right hands,” said Abraham. “It is always great to fight in front of my fans, who give me strength. Now I want the winner of (Felix) Sturm versus (Robert) Stieglitz.”

Smith had hundreds of his own vocal UK supporters make the trip to Kiel, but an unusually loud German crowd maintained roaring energy for Abraham. The determined Smith didn’t really need any help. He fought hard and kept it interesting all the way.

Abraham was slightly marked beneath each eye and looked like he would have a couple knots in the morning while Smith’s reddened face displayed numerous nicks. Neither fighter was ever seriously stung or in any trouble.

Smith started well and Abraham looked a bit surprised at Smith’s speed and punch volume. Abraham never did cut off the ring, but eventually he forced Smith into the strands with increased combinations. Both men landed and absorbed wicked body shots.

Smith kept countering, even as he got tagged more and more. Abraham blocked a large percentage of Smith’s punches with a vertical, peek-a-boo posture, then came around with big, swarming combinations.

It was anybody’s fight at the midway point, but by the tenth it looked like Abraham had wrapped up the victory. That didn’t keep Smith from trying. He was in the fight from bell to bell.

It was a very good bout. Each man threw multiple punches from around the third session onward. Referee Robert Byrd did nice job letting the fighters’ styles mesh. Abraham clinched once, around the 11th, Smith fought like he wouldn’t think of such a thing.

Smith picked a few sour grapes as the verdict was announced, but properly glided into a more gracious mode before the post fight press conference. He can return to Liverpool with his chin up and contending status intact.

As for Abraham, it looks like a nice payday against another German star, probably early next year. The 34 year old Abraham says he will fight as long as his coach who is nearing retirement, Ulli Wegner, is with him. This time next year there is likely to be a different story around Abraham, now in his 11th year as a professional.

“King” Arthur may not be elite boxing royalty any more after “Super Six” misadventures away from home but he’s still got a belt, he’s still got a crowd, and it looks like he’s still got plenty of excellent rounds left in the tank.

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COMMENTS

-Skibbz :

We must have been watching different fights, I will find the fight and post it here, along with my round by round scores and we can see what our community make of the fight. Sour grapes they are not.


-dino da vinci :

I'd love to see it and score it as well.


-Skibbz :

Here it is;

I had it end 115/113 for Smith. I can post my individual round scores if you'd like a comparison. Enjoy the fight, it heats up!


-The Commish :

Here it is;
I had it end 115/113 for Smith. I can post my individual round scores if you'd like a comparison. Enjoy the fight, it heats up!
Thanks for posting it, Skibbz. I will watch the fight before getting on the mic today on my show. I especially want to hear commentator Jim Watt, who I have been told did a less-than-stellar job on the call. I will decide that for myself. -Randy G.


-yomi :

We must have been watching different fights, I will find the fight and post it here, along with my round by round scores and we can see what our community make of the fight. Sour grapes they are not.
I totally agree with Skibbz: the author watched a different fight. I scored it 113-115 Smith. In the moments before the decision was announced I thought to myself: "The judges will give Abraham a draw". How little did I know. "The Sweet Science saw it 118-112" A few 10-10 rounds in there? Suffice to say that I would be
very interested in seeing the Sweet Science's scorecard.


-Radam G :

Wow! The fight video feed was bad coming into the P-Islands. Or my boy "Smigga" Smithy was hit by "A Smooth Criminal."
->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFvENQBc-F8 Holla!


-Skibbz :

Glad to see there are those with eyes and sense enough to score fights correctly. 118-112 is a different fight I'm certain, maybe something on the undercard..


-Skibbz :

For what it's worth the WBO have stated they will investigate the scorecards.. No word on whether they'll over rule or void the scores but it would certainly be a step in the right direction. A rematch in Liverpool would sell very well, but something tells me Sauerland Bro's won't do it unless forced.


-The Commish :

For what it's worth the WBO have stated they will investigate the scorecards.. No word on whether they'll over rule or void the scores but it would certainly be a step in the right direction. A rematch in Liverpool would sell very well, but something tells me Sauerland Bro's won't do it unless forced.
I can see where the scores were one-sided. Close, competitive, two-sided bouts will do that. However, Abraham was really winning most of the rounds, and doing it with a very tight defense. Actually, both showed tremendous defense. I had it 115-113 for Abraham, but found myself trying to give some borderline rounds to Smith, who acquitted himself very well over the championship distance. I thought the rounds Smith won were very close, and could see where a judge might cop out and call the round even (I try not to score any round even, but that's just me). Abraham had himself perhaps his best three minutes in Round 8, as he put his punches together well, mixing it up to both the head and body. But, feeling the fight slipping away, Smith came back strong in the ninth. The 12th was one of the most action-packed of a thrilling, competitive bout. By the way, I watched it with the sound off. I didn't get to hear what many said was a biased call by Jim Watt. Was it biased? How about a rematch? -Randy G.


-Radam G :

Definitely a rematch is in order. Holla!


-Skibbz :

I watched the fight again late last night, I can see the 115-113 Randy, and the argument for 114 a piece could be valid too. I will stand with my 115-113 I made initially. I don't think Arthur did enough to swing the rounds, his sharp jab was impressive however. A rematch would surely be the way forward, this fight would sell big in Liverpool especially if they fill the card with more of the Smith family. Next time I think it will be a bettter fight, Abraham will be more efficient and not waste himself in the first half of the fight, but Smith hurt him so we will no doubt see a great fight.


-yomi :

@The Commish Yes, Jim was about as biased as he always is (read: very). Regardless of that all three official scorecards were laughably bad and ruined a great contest. I expected a draw, or a one or two point difference in either man's favour. 117-111 twice and 119-109 makes me think that the judges filled out their scorecards long before the bell rang for the first round. Which in turn makes me think "Wish I hadn't wasted my time watching a fixed fight". I love our sport, but I'm not sure how many more of these I can take (there's been far too many recently). @skibbz Glad that Hearn has convinced the WBO to review, hopefully Smith wil get a rematch... having said that, I'm sure that Raymundo Beltran is feeling even more hard done by at the moment...


-The Commish :

@The Commish Yes, Jim was about as biased as he always is (read: very). Regardless of that all three official scorecards were laughably bad and ruined a great contest. I expected a draw, or a one or two point difference in either man's favour. 117-111 twice and 119-109 makes me think that the judges filled out their scorecards long before the bell rang for the first round. Which in turn makes me think "Wish I hadn't wasted my time watching a fixed fight". I love our sport, but I'm not sure how many more of these I can take (there's been far too many recently). @skibbz Glad that Hearn has convinced the WBO to review, hopefully Smith wil get a rematch... having said that, I'm sure that Raymundo Beltran is feeling even more hard done by at the moment...
First of all, Yomi, welcome to the site, as least as a poster on these threads. The fight was competitive in every round. Many of the rounds were down-to-the-wire close, making those who were judging (us included) stop to think, "Okay, who should I give that round to?" For that reason, for the incredible competitiveness of the fight, I can understand almost any score. This was not a horrendous decision. This was not Bradley-Pacquiao I. Hopefully, though, a rematch is ordered by the WBO. It certainly is a fight worth seeing again. -Randy G.


-yomi :

First of all, Yomi, welcome to the site, as least as a poster on these threads. The fight was competitive in every round. Many of the rounds were down-to-the-wire close, making those who were judging (us included) stop to think, "Okay, who should I give that round to?" For that reason, for the incredible competitiveness of the fight, I can understand almost any score. This was not a horrendous decision. This was not Bradley-Pacquiao I. Hopefully, though, a rematch is ordered by the WBO. It certainly is a fight worth seeing again. -Randy G.
Whoops, I may have got a bit ahead of myself there... Thanks for the welcome to the forum Randy. I've been reading the site on a regular basis for a few months now (ever since that amazing series of articles by Springs Toldeo on Little Tiger Wade), this is the first time I've commented. In response to your points on Abraham-Smith: I could understand almost any "close" score card. Three landslide score cards for the house fighter (in Germany) just screams "fix" to me. The 119-109 scorecard was just ... wrong. I agree that it wasn't Bradley-Pacquiao I, but it was a very cynical ending to what had been a pretty good bout.


-dino da vinci :

Welcome yomi. I score even rounds even. Thought that only fair. If a round is too close to call, then it's an even round. Today's judges have a difficult time identifying the winner of clear-cut rounds, why would we want to go down the road where we're splitting atoms? I will definitely score this one. Thanks for posting.