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Paul Smith to face Tyron Zeuge for WBA title

By Scott Gilfoid: #5 WBA Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) will reportedly be challenging WBA World super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) for his title this summer in Germany. The fight is said to be close to being a done deal. The news of the Zeuge vs. Smith fight is expected to be announced soon. The working date for the Zeuge-Smith fight is June 17.

All I can say is, ‘Wow.’ Smith keeps getting world title shots that I don’t believe he deserves. This will be Smith’s third shot at a world title. What is it with Smith and guys like George Groves and Martin Murray? These fighters keep getting world title shots despite losing again and again. Groves has lost 3 times in world title shots. Murray has failed on 4 world title shots.

I could understand Paul Smith getting another world title shot if he had beaten someone good, but he hasn’t done that. I figured that Smith was finished as a fighter after he was stopped in the 9th round by Andre Ward in June 2015. Smith looked really bad in that fight. Smith’s boxing ability was nowhere to be found, and he looked really fat in weighing in at 176 ½ pounds at the weigh-in. Smith has weighed in at light heavyweight in his last two fights in coming in at 171 and 174. Can Smith still make the 168 lb. limit? I don’t know. He might not be able to make the weight at this stage of his career.

Smith was smiling like the Cheshire cat last Saturday night when he was interviewed by Sky Sports about the news of him getting a title shot against WBA 168 lb. champion Tyron Zeuge. Smith wouldn’t confirm, but he looked like he was the happiest man in the world when he talking about. I can understand Smith being so happy. The guy was whipped royally by Arthur Abraham twice and also beaten by Andre Ward. Smith has come back from his 3 losses to win his last 3 fights, but against dreadful opposition.

Here are the 3 fighters that Paul Smith recently beat:

Daniel Regi (28-14, 15 KOs)

Bartlomiej Grafka (18-26-3, 9 KOs)

Bronislav Kubin (19-23-2, 12 KOs)

Gosh, Smith’s recent opponents sure do have great records, don’t they? Smith must have had to search far and wide to find talents like this to meet his requirements as record-padding opposition. What I don’t understand is why in the heck did the WBA give Smith a top 5 ranking after beating this level of opposition? If it were me pulling the control levers of the WBA’s rankings, I would drop Smith further in the rankings after wins like this rather than elevating him to the No.5 spot.

“I’ve been speaking to my manager and trainer and nothing is over the line yet,” said Smith to skysports.com. “It’s the only fight I want, I’ve been waiting since November or December. It’s a case of ‘watch this space’.”

Smith’ has lost 3 times in the last three years to these fighters:

Arthur Abraham x 2

Andre Ward

Smith was able to get a rematch with Arthur Abraham after he bellyached about his loss to the German fighter in September 2014. Smith thought he had done enough to deserve a win in that fight. The judges saw it differently in scoring the fight 117-111, 119-109 and 117-111. Boxing News 24 scored the fight 119-109 in favor of Abraham. There was nothing close about that fight.

Smith Definitely didn’t do enough to win the fight, even though I was not impressed with what I saw from Abraham. Both fighters looked feeble, lost and totally without boxing skills.

It was interesting though that Smith was able to get a rematch with Abraham by doing a lot of bellyaching. Before that fight, I’d never seen someone get a rematch after being beaten as soundly as Smith was. I don’t know how his promoter was able to wrangle a second fight against Abraham, because I don’t think Smith rated a second fight due to the fight not being close. Without a doubt, the Abraham-Smith I fight was NOT controversial.

In addition to Smith’s losses to Abraham and Ward, h also has past defeats against James DeGale, George Groves and Steven Bendall.

I haven’t been impressed with the 25-yesr-old Zeuge since watching him get what I considered was a gift 12 round draw against former WBA World super middleweight Giovanni De Carolis on July 16, 2016. I watched the De Carolis vs. Zeuge fight twice, and both times I could only give Zeuge 2 rounds. The reason for that is because Zeuge hurt his shoulder early in the fight and fought with just one arm. How the judges could give Zeuge a 12 round draw was hard to understand. It was a one-sided fight. The German Zeuge was just there, laboring and taking shots from De Carolis 12 rounds.

The fight took place in Berlin, Germany. Zeuge looked quite mediocre, and not like a championship level fighter. However, in the rematch, Zeuge was able to defeat De Carolis to capture the WBA 168lb title. You can argue that the only reason why a limited fighter like De Carolis was the WBA world champion was because he beat a very, very flawed fighter in Vincent Feigenbutz by an 11th round TKO in January 2016 to win the WBA strap.

I never thought De Carolis would ever win a world title, but he had it easy in fighting Feignbutz. In my opinion, the WBA seems to be in a race to the bottom with them ranking fighter that I consider poor so highly in their rankings.

Smith was nowhere to be seen in the top 15 rankings at super middleweight until recently when he suddenly appeared out of nowhere in the World Boxing Association’s rankings at the No.5 spot. Just what the 34-year-old Smith had done to deserve that high ranking is the big question. The last time I checked, Smith has lost 3 out of his last 6 fights since 2014. Smith’s record is 3-3 in his last 6 fights.

As far as I’m concerned, Smith is the LAST fighter that should be challenging for a world title. But when you have a sanctioning body like the WBA giving Smith a #5 ranking, it paves the way for champions like Zeuge to fight him without him taking too much negative feedback from the boxing fans for his choice of opponent. After all, of the fans cry about Zeuge choosing the down in his luck Smith, he can always say, ‘Look at the WBA’s rankings. Smith is rated HIGHLY after No.5.’ The WBA’s rankings are pretty terrible to look at. Having Smith at No.5 is kind of par for the course.

Here are the WBA’s top 10 rankings as of April 2017:

1. Fedor Chudinov

2. George Groves

3. Isaac Ekpo

4. David Benavidez

5. Paul Smith

6. Patrick Nielson

7. Arthur Abraham

8. Avni Yildirim

9. Vincent Feigenbutz

10. David Brophy

It’s interesting that Brophy is ranked in the WBA’s top 10, because this guy was recently knocked out in 4 rounds by George Groves in April of 2016. With a loss like that, I don’t see how or why Brophy is rated No.10 with the WBA. Isaac Ekpo was recently beaten by Zeuge by a 5th round technical decision last March. Why in the heck is Ekpo still ranked in the WBA’s top 3? Shouldn’t be dropped from the top 3 to possibly the bottom spot? I do not even begin to understand the WBA’s rankings, because they look like a complete mess to me from top to bottom. If I was the one doing the WBA’s rankings, I wouldn’t have any of these fighters in my top 15. I’d have them around the bottom 25 spot.

Zeuge has zero punching power whatsoever. Smith SHOULD be able to beat a guy like Zejuge under ideal conditions if he’s in shape, motivated and not running out of gas like we’ve seen him do in the past. Unfortunately for Smith, he’ll need to fight Zeuge in Germany, because there’s little chance that fight will take place in the Uk. Can a fighter like Smith beat Zeuge in Germany? Without knocking Zeuge out cold, I can’t see Smith getting a decision victory against Zeuge. After seeing the outcome of the De Carolis vs. Zeuge I fight, I don’t think for a second that Smith can win a decision against Zeuge.

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