Tyron Zeuge vs. Paul Smith analysis and prediction
By Scott Gilfoid: Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) will be getting his third attempt at a world title tonight against WBA World super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Hessen, Germany.
I’m not sure that Zeuge’s German based promoters realized how much flake they would receive the boxing public when they selected the 34-year-old Paul Smith as the opponent for Zeuge to fight. I’d like to think Zeuge’s promoters didn’t realize what the fans would say about this fight.
They might have thought they could sneak Smith by the casual boxing fans with them not being bothered about Zeuge fighting a guy with 3 losses in his last 6 fights like Smith. Whatever the case, the fight has been made and the 25-year-old switch-hitting Zeuge will be defending his World Boxing Association 168 lb. belt tonight against a fighter that has twice lost in world title shots in Smith.
There’s 9 years that separates the 25-year-old Zeuge and 34-year-old Smith. That’s significant. Zeuge has the better engine, the faster hand speed, and the better overall boxing skills. Smith has the power and experience advantage. You can’t really take much from Smith’s experience advantage though, as he’s lost against the good guys that he’s fought. Experience counts for a fighter when he wins, not when you loses to all the best guys he faces.
Zeuge has a controversial 12 round draw against Giovanni De Carolis last year. Zeuge was VERY, VERY lucky to get the draw, because it sure looked like a clear loss to me. Zeuge won the WBA belt in a rematch with De Carolis last November in stopping the Italian fighter in the 12th. In Zeuge’s first defense, he defeated top 5 contender Isaac Ekpo by a 5th round knockout last March.
It’s unclear what Ekpo did to get a high ranking by the WBA. Before getting the title shot against Zeuge, Ekpo had lost lopsided 12 round unanimous decision to former WBO World super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz in October 2013. After that loss, Ekpo beat 9 mediocre opponents to get himself ranked in the top 5. I have no idea why the WBA ranked Ekpo in the top 5 after his wins over lower level opposition.
”Tyron Zeuge is unbeaten and the fight is in Germany, so it is a tough ask for Smith,” said Carl Froch to skysports.com. ”This is his chance, his last one, and I hope he can bring the belt home.”
I agree with Froch that it’s going to be tough for Paul Smith to win the fight against Zeuge in Germany. I don’t think the fight being in Germany will have any bearing on the outcome of the fight. Zeuge is good enough to beat Smith anywhere they stage that fight. Heck, they could stage Zeuge vs. Smith on planet Neptune with the 1,300 mph winds, and Zeuge wins that fight without a bother. It would be too easy for Zeuge no matter where the fight is staged.
The talent level is different. Smith is more of a domestic level type of fighter. I don’t see Smith as world class. Yeah, Smith is fighting a world class guy in Zeuge, but that doesn’t mean he’s world class. It just means Smith has got a great promoter that opens doors for him. When you stand on someone’s shoulders, you can see far. Smith has been give great opportunities thanks to his promoter. I don’t think Smith deserves these opportunities and I do not rate him as world class. At this point, I don’t think Smith could even win a British title.
Short of a late career surge, this is probably Smith’s last shot at fighting for a world title. If Smith loses to Zeuge, the only way he can get another title shot is if he starts beating actual contenders, and we haven’t seen that type of thing from Smith during his 14-year pro career. Smith’s best wins of his career has been his two victories over Tony Dodson.
Smith was given 2 world title shots against WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham after losing to George Groves by a 2nd round knockout and then defeating these 4 guys: Tommy Tolan, Tony Dodson, Jaime Ambler and Davis Sarabia. I still don’t understand how Smith was given a world title shot after empty wins over those 4 journeyman fighters. It looked bad at the time Smith getting a world title fight, but it looked even worse when he started to complain and moan after he was beaten by Abraham.
Smith said he thought he won the fight. I don’t know what Smith was talking about, because Boxing News 24 had Abraham winning 10 rounds to 2. Smith was getting nailed with tremendous shots in each round. Never the less, Smith was able to complain his way into a pointless rematch with Abraham, which the German fighter was more than happy to give him.
Abraham was clearly at the end of the line as a world championship level fighter, so fighting Smith helped extend his title reign. Had Abraham had to fight a good fighter like Gilberto Ramirez, he would have lost to him. Abraham ended up losing World Boxing Organization super middleweight title anyway just 3 fights later in getting blanked by Ramirez by a 12 round unanimous decision.
Abraham is pretty much just playing out his string now in finishing up his career. There’s no way that Paul Smith deserved a second fight with Abraham. I’m just glad that Smith didn’t start blabbering after he lost the second fight with Abraham, and saying he was robbed. The second fight was even more one-sided than the first Abraham-Smith fight, with Abraham appearing to win 11 rounds to 1.
“It’s a fight that I think Paul Smith can win and it’s one that I hope he does win. It’s the last chance for Paul and I would love to see him pull it of,” said Tony Bellew to skysports.com.
Smith is going to try his best to take advantage of his world title shot against Zeuge. If Smith is going to win a world title, Zeuge would be the one to win it against, as he’s seen as the weak link among the current 4 world champions at super middleweight. There will soon be a fifth world champion after Callum Smith and Anthony Dirrell finish scraping for the vacant World Boxing Council 168 pound title. Zeuge will still be viewed as the weak link among the champions even after that fight, as he has no punching power at all.
Zeuge is easy to hit, and he’s just a light puncher, who fights only in Germany. Zeuge appeared to lose his first fight in Germany against Giovanni De Carolis by a one-sided 12 round decision, but the judges scored it a draw. I had the fight scored 11 rounds to 1 by De Carolis. That fight was the worst robbery I’ve ever seen. Zeuge hurt his shoulder early in the fight, and he was forced to fight with one arm. De Carolis had it easy for the last 9 rounds, When the judges’ scores were announced, I was stunned and so was De Carolis. It was a dreadful set of scores. Zeuge is the right guy for Smith to be fighting if he’s to have any chance of winning a world title.
Unfortunately, Smith isn’t very good. He’s a limited guy, who I feel shouldn’t ranked #5 by the World Boxing Association at this time. That ranking must be based on what the WBA feels Smith’s potential is, and not because of his recent wins. If you go by Smith’s last 3 wins over Daniel Regi (28-13), Bartlomiej Grafka (17-20-3) and Bronslav Kubin (18-18-2), he doesn’t rate a No.5 ranking with the WBA. Heck, Smith doesn’t rate a top 100 ranking with wins over those guys in my view. Those guys are not the typical type of opposition you see in fighters with a No.5 ranking. When you’re talking about a top 5 contender, it usually involves someone that has beaten at least contender in recent years. As far as I can tell, Smith has never beaten one top contender during his entire career. I don’ rate Tony Dodson as a contender, and Smith fought him YEARS ago.
Smith twice won the British super middleweight titles in beating Tony Dodson. Smith lost those belts against James DeGale and George Groves by knockouts. Earlier in Smith’s career, he was totally outclassed by Steven Bendall in losing a 10 round points decision in a HUGE upset in 2008. Bendall made Smith look bad in that fight. It wasn’t even a close fight. Bendall was leagues better than Smith. It’s interesting that Bendall’s career never took off after that win. Smith was given world title shots, while Bendall was done by 2013 after losing to Darren McDermott, Dominik Britsch and Rudy Markussen. I always thought Bendall was more talented than Smith. Had Smith brought McDermott, Britsch and Markussen, I think he would have lost even worse than Bendall did.
I see Zeuge battering Smith like an old drum for 9 one-sided rounds until he’s bloody and battered. At that point, I see the referee stepping in to stop the bloodbath. Zeuge wins by 9th round technical knockout. Smith will then likely talk about retirement from boxing, but then not do it. No matter what he says, I see Smith continuing his career after he loses tonight.
The Zeuge-Smith fight will be televised live on Sky Sports 1 at 10:00 p.m. tonight.