Paul Smith vs. Andre Ward Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/20/15
Boxing: Saturday, June 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Oracle Arena, Oakland, California)
The Line: Paul Smith +3000 / Andre Ward -7000 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Paul Smith and Andre Ward square off Saturday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Paul Smith enters this fight with a 35-5 record that includes 19 knockouts. Smith is riding a tough two-loss streak that includes a loss to Arthur Abraham in February and another loss to him last September. While he’s certainly seen better days, Smith is a proven English fighter at 32 years old and still has a solid jab that keeps his opponent off balance. Smith also has solid power in his right hand, which is why five of his last six victories have failed to go the distance. The concern with Smith is that he just lost twice to a lesser fighter and can’t exactly be the most confident guy in the world right now. This will be Smith’s first career fight in Oakland and just his second fight in the United States.
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Andre Ward enters this fight with a 28-0 record that includes 14 knockouts. This will be Ward’s first fight since November of 2013, which was a victory over Edwin Rodríguez. Ward has a terrific jab, is strong, athletic and simply one of the more technically skilled fighters in the sport. Ward is also extremely smart and won’t play into his opponent's hands. Someone will actually have to beat Ward if he’s going to lose at this point in his career. The only concern for Ward is that he has just one fight since 2012. While I’m sure he’s still in shape, you really have no idea what to expect from a fighter you haven’t seen in what feels like forever. This will be Ward’s sixth fight in Oakland.
I’m not sure how anyone can pick Smith after coming off back-to-back losses to a guy Ward beat rather easily. Sure, there are questions with the amount of rest Ward has decided to take, but you’re going to bet the lesser fighter simply because there may be a little rust?
Not buying it.
Ward will have little problem winning this fight, especially with his home crowd behind him.