Arthur Abraham 167.9 pounds, Paul Smith 165.6
“King” Arthur Abraham weighed 167.9 pounds on Friday for his WBO super middleweight title defense against Paul Smith, who weighed well inside the division limit at 165.6. The bout, which takes place on Saturday at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, is a direct rematch.
Abraham, THE RING No. 2 at 168 pounds, won a unanimous decision over Smith in September but the official scoring was uncomfortably wide in his favor. The Germany-based Armenian, a proud and gallant warrior, immediately promised to give Smith another shot and he delivered.
Smith (35-4, 20 knockouts) was completely written off first time around but rose to the challenge and delivered the finest performance of his career, against a vastly more experienced fighter. Despite onesided defeats to countryman George Groves and James DeGale, the former two-time British champion upped his game dramatically and was close to springing a sensational upset
Abraham (41-4, 28 knockouts) promises a very different conclusion in the rematch but Smith is super confident of collecting a world title at the second time of asking.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing