Arthur Abraham vs Paul Smith Preview Feb 21st
Armenian-born Arthur Abraham, who now fights out of Germany, will be defending his WBO Super Middleweight Title against Paul Smith of Britain at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, February 21. This is a rematch of a bout that took place last September in which Abraham won a controversial decision. The 12-round fight can be seen in Britain on Sky Sports. Abraham won the first meeting by a wide margin on the scorecards, but most experts believe the fight was quite a bit closer than the judges’ scorecards.
The 34-year-old Abraham enters the ring with a record of 41-4 with 29 Kos while the 32-year-old Smith is 35-4 with 20 Kos. Abraham is 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 72-inch reach with Smith standing 5-feet-11 with the same reach. Abraham is slowing down now that he’s getting older and he isn’t able to roll over his opponents like he used to. His power is diminishing, but he’s still a world-class boxer at this stage in his career. His last stoppage victory came back in 2012 and he’s been getting by on his boxing skills since then.
If Smith has learned anything from the first fight then Abraham could have his hands full in the rematch. The champion is predicting a knockout this time, but he can’t focus on looking for it. Smith isn’t exactly a spring chicken as he’s just two years younger than Abraham, but he hasn’t been in the wars that the champion has. Smith has boxed just 191 rounds so far during his pro career while Abraham has 339 of them under his belt and a lot of experience in championship fights. Smith is one of many boxers who is comfortable when fighting Grade B opponents, but usually fails the test when they move up to a Grade A boxer, which is what Abraham is.
Smith was stopped by George Groves in two rounds back in 2011 and that came just a year after he was stopped in the ninth round by James DeGale. Smith has a questionable chin, but he took Abraham’s best shots in the first bout and that will give him some confidence. However, if Abraham suddenly finds his power then Smith could be in a bit of trouble on Saturday. But if Smith can control the ring centre and take the initiative by backing Abraham up he’ll have a good shot here.
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Smith can’t wait around here. He needs to be the aggressor from the opening bell and try to take as many rounds as he can on points. This way, if Abraham’s power has deserted him again, then Smith should have some rounds in the bank on the judges’ scorecards. Of course, Abraham has the hometown fans behind him and could also benefit from some hometown scoring. Look for Abraham to retain his title in this one by another decision or late stoppage.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights. The odds of an Abraham victory are listed at -500 while a Smith win is listed at +400. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done.
Arthur Abraham betting • Paul Smith betting