FIGHT UPDATE: Andre Ward defeated Paul Smith via TKO in round 9.
Andre Ward was one of the hottest names in boxing a few years ago, but he has only fought twice since 2012. After 19 months of inactivity, he returns to the ring Saturday night when he squares off against Paul Smith of England in the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
I just think it's too big an ask and personally I am expecting a wide points win for Ward. Ward doesn't stop really good fighters, he just get things under control and keeps them there so I expect to see the full 12 rounds but a convincing points win for Ward.
I have a feeling Paul Smith is going to be a much better opponent than Andre Ward is expecting, but Virgil Hunter is no mug. Ward is a surpreme technician, so good at hitting and not being hit and has the art of boxing down to a tee so I am afraid I can only see Paul struggling.
People I've been speaking to don't give Paul much of a chance and it's a massive ask. Ward isn't a huge puncher. He doesn't hit as hard as Abraham and Paul's been the distance with him twice. Ring fitness could also be an issue down the stretch but I've got a feeling Ward has been in the gym a long time and has just been waiting. I think it's been a case of waiting for contracts to expire and it's not as if he's coming back from injury.