Abraham dominates Smith in rematch to retain WBO title
WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (42-4, 28 KOs) defeated Britain's Paul Smith (35-6, 20 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in their rematch on Saturday night at the O2 World arena in Berlin, Germany.
In the first fight, controversy surrounded the wide scoring but there was no argument about the verdict on this occasion with Abraham retaining his title with a deserved win by scores of 116-112, 117-111, 117-111.
Smith appeared to take the opener with his steady work-rate but Abraham showed more urgency in the second, rapping hooks into the ribs of Smith, who was briefly forced into reverse as the champion unloaded clubbing punches.
The Armenian-born German seemed comfortable taking Smith's punches and was more effective with his own, delivering punishing barrages that had Smith in trouble in the fourth, and his legs buckled as Abraham piled on more punches that the Liverpudlian did well to weather.
Smith was always game, however, firing back with good body attacks and Abraham did appear to be affected by a Smith body shot in the sixth.
Although it was not enough to turn the tide and Abraham continued to dominate as the rounds wore on and Smith, who somehow withstood a huge right hand in the ninth, needed a knockout with three rounds remaining.
But it was Smith who was wobbled by another big right hand in the 10th.
The challenger always lacked the firepower to trouble the champion but produced a determined late stand, shrugging off a succession of hooks and then pumping out punches until the final bell.
Also on the card, British heavyweight David Price (19-2, 16 KOs) stopped Brazil's Irineu Beato Costa Junior (16-3, 14 KOs) in the sixth round.
The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist ended it by scoring three knockdowns in round six.
Unbeaten British featherweight Josh Warrington (20-0, 4 KOs) halted journeyman Edwin Tellez (9-12-5, 4 KOs) of Nicaragua in the fifth round.
European champion Warrington takes on Dennis Tubieron on April 11 with the WBC International featherweight title on the line.