Paul Smith: Abraham knows I can hurt him and outbox him
By Scott Gilfoid: #5 WBO Paul Smith (35-4, 20 KOs) will be getting what some boxing fans feel is an underserved second chance at fighting for a world title on February 21st in a rematch against WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (41-4, 28 KOs) at the O2 World Arena, Kreuzberg, in Berlin, Germany.
Smith, 32, tried his hand at fighting the 34-year-old Abraham last September, but he came up short in losing a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 117-111, 119-109 and 117-111.
Smith was outworked, outpunched and basically outclassed by the aging German based champion. However, Smith made a lot of noise after the fight in saying that he felt that the scoring was off base, and that has resulted in him getting a rematch with Abraham.
Smith feels that he’ll be able to fight at a higher level in the rematch in order to beat Abraham. Smith thinks he can hurt Abraham and outwork him, even though he failed to do either of those things in his previous fight with Abraham. Neither fighter was hurt, but Abraham clearly landed the harder blows and outworked Smith.
I’m not sure that those things will change in the rematch because Smith simply doesn’t have the same kind of punching power that Abraham does, and he doesn’t have a high work rate either. It might be foolish for Smith to try and outwork Abraham in the second fight, because it very well could lead to Smith getting nailed by a lot of huge shots by Abraham.
“He [Abraham] knows I can hurt him, he knows I can outbox him and he knows I can push him close. On the flip side I know what I can do, and I know I have it in me to reach another level,” Smith said via RingTV.com. “Abraham might get himself fitter but he’s a lazy fighter at the best of times…Last time I thought I could win, whereas this time I know I can.”
I don’t think for a second that Smith will be able to hurt Abraham no matter how many times he hits him. I see Smith as a lesser puncher than Robert Stieglitz, and I don’t see him as having the work rate that Stieglitz had in his last two fights against Abraham.
With the Abraham-Smith rematch taking place in Berlin, Germany, I’d have to say that Smith’s chances of earning a decision over Abraham are about zero. That means that if he wants to beat Abraham then he’s going to need to focus on trying to knock him out.
I wish Smith a lot of luck trying to do that, because Abraham has a strong chin and he’s very likely going to be able to stand up to anything Smith throws at him. The only way Smith can somehow beat Abraham is if he overwhelms him with punches like Stieglitz did in their second fight. Unfortunately for Smith, he doesn’t appear to be capable of throwing nonstop punches the way that Stieglitz did in beating Abraham. Like I said, if Smith throws a ton of punches at Abraham, it’s going to be a potentially dangerous thing for him to do because he’ll likely run into something.
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