Boxing Preview – Andre Ward vs Paul Smith Jr

Boxing Preview – Andre Ward vs Paul Smith Jr

4am) Andre Ward vs Paul Smith Jr

The final big main event of the night sees us take the short crossing of state from Nevada to California, as Boxing returns to Oakland. The Oracle Arena, following hosting the new champions of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, will host another returning champion, as the great Andre Ward returns to the ring after a long lay-off. He faces the challenge of British super-middleweight, Paul Smith Jr.

We believe Ward will win the fight on points, which is currently priced at 6/4. A £10 stake could return £75 if you ‘Treble the Odds’ with 888 Sport. You can get the offer by signing up here or via the banner below. 

The 31 year old Andre Ward still has a good career ahead of him, and a big chance at taking the #1 P4P spot once Mayweather’s imminent retirement within the next year or so happens. Ward was heralded as the #2 P4P fighter in the World before splitting from his promoter Dan Goossen in 2013 which led to lawsuits lasting until January this year, following Goossen’s death in September 2014. He finally signed with Roc Nation Sports and is now ready to kick off his career again following only one fight in 2013 since the split. He earned a strong unanimous decision win against Carl Froch in December 2011, he stopped Chad Dawson in September 2012 in the tenth round, and most recently earned a one-sided decision against Edwin Rodriguez in November 2013, taking his unblemished record to 27 wins.


Andre Ward is probably the most technically gifted Boxer in the world, second only to Floyd Mayweather. He’s a Boxing intellectual as well and has a good mind for the sport. He’s very strong, very athletic and physical. He’s also a fantastic ring operator and usually dictates the range and tempo, and his defence is evasive. His punching is some of the most accurate in the sport. He’s truly the whole package. The only obvious weakness going into this is the possibility of ring rust. Having only fought twice in three years and seven months, and only once in nineteen months will usually have adverse effects on conditioning and general ring awareness, but Ward is a remarkable talent.


Paul Smith Jr is coming off back-to-back losses in World championship competition against Arthur Abraham following his fantastic effort in the first bout where many though he had won. The second fight was when the pressure got too much as he lost quite decisively. That being said, Paul Smith is a fantastic domestic talent and is one of the best Britain has to offer. He earned a decisive stoppage against David Sarabia in May 2014 before dropping unanimous decisions to Arthur Abraham in September 2014 and February this year. His forty fight record boasts 35 wins, 20 by stoppage, and five losses.

Smith Jr is what you would expect of a typical British Boxer in today’s age. He’s very rugged, he likes to take the fight in close on the inside and try to work the body. His stiff jab works well on a short package and even more effectively if doubled up with a second jab or a straight. His right hand is a game changer and had a lot of bang behind it. He is part of the four Smith brothers, and their training with each other is very motivating, and they better themselves by sparring each other because they get to see a variety of different styles, which will help Paul Smith against Ward who has a lot to offer. Smith’s defence is rather untenable, and he leaves a lot of holes when on the offence, especially when he drops his right hand on the jab. Holes like these will be exploited with ease by someone with the ability of Ward. His feet are very stiff and slow as well, and he generally won’t work the ring as well as he could.

The main attraction of this card, and particularly this fight is the return of Ward who truly is one of the few spectacles in Boxing with the mainstream support like Floyd Mayweather. Is talent is obvious and he attracts the purists as well as the casuals because he has more of an edge in his two styles than what Mayweather offers. Smith has a big heart for taking this fight, which was also displayed against Abraham, but ultimately I don’t think his head is in the right place, missing weight by 4.5 lbs and even saying that Ward never loses. The gulf in talent and skills is large in this case and that’s why Ward wins quite handily. That being said, the rust will only have an effect on Ward’s confidence, and for that reason I think he earns the win via a shutout unanimous decision victory, as he boxes methodically and calculated, winning clear rounds. Andre Ward by a strong unanimous decision.

Dan Glozier.

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