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Liam Smith vs. Sadam Ali Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 5/12/18

Ali vs. Smith

Boxing: Saturday May 12, 2018 (Turning Stone Resort & Casino)

The Line: Smith -145 / Ali +115 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: HBO

Liam Smith and Sadam Ali fight Saturday at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino for the WBO light-middleweight title.

Liam Smith enters this fight with a 26-1-1 record that includes 14 knockouts. Smith has won five of his last six fights, and he’s coming off a November win over Liam Williams. Smith is coming off back-to-back wins over Williams and has put that loss to Canelo Alvarez in the past. This is Smith’s first title shot since losing his belt a couple of years ago to Cinnamon. Smith is 29 years old, stands at 5’9” and has an orthodox stance. Smith is a very polished offensive fighter who mixes in combinations well and does a good job of working the head and body. Smith also has some pop behind his punches with nine of his last 11 victories coming by stoppage. A victory here would make Smith more of a household name outside of the United Kingdom. This will be just the second time Smith fights in the United States.

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Liam Smith vs. Sadam Ali Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 5/12/18

USA TODAY Sports

Sadam Ali enters this fight with a 26-1 record that includes 14 knockouts. Ali has won 10 of his last 11 fights, and he’s coming off a December win over Miguel Cotto. Ali is coming off the biggest win of his career in a tight UD against a Puerto Rican legend, and hopes to follow that up with a victory that puts him in the conversation as the best super welterweight in the world. Ali is a 29-year-old who stands at 5’9”, has a 73 inch reach and an orthodox stance. Ali is a bit of a jumpy fighter who has great head movement, quick hands and can be hard to square up due to his athleticism and ability to get in and out. He works the body well and puts together tight combinations when he gets his opponent on the ropes. Ali isn’t known for his punching power, but he has produced stoppages in four of his last nine victories and did hit Cotto with some strong shots that him wobbly at times. Ali is a fighter who may still be treading up in his career, which is interesting to think about. This will be Ali’s 10th career fight in New York, his birthplace. 

This has the potential to be one of the best fights of the 2018 schedule, and you can make a strong case for either side. Smith has the obvious advantage in terms of experience against high level boxers and is the more polished offensive fighter in terms of mixing his punches and landing accurately. Ali can be a bit wild at times and leave himself open to counters on the defensive end. There’s a lot of reasons to go with Smith, but I’m backing the American and picking Ali to win this fight. Ali showed in his last bout that he’s ready to take that next step in his career, as he simply outboxed a guy who always gives his all and has to get beaten in order to lose, and he landed some really impressive shots in that fight. Smith is going to have his hands full in this fight, and Ali will have the New York crowd behind him along the way. Of course, Smith’s only career loss was the only other time he fought in the US, against Saul Alvarez.

Coin flip fight, but I give the edge to Ali.

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