Arthur Abraham had to dig into the reserve tanks tonight in Germany, but he wound up successfully defending his WBO super middleweight title against huge underdog Paul Smith, winning on scores of 117-111, 117-111, and 119-109. BLH had it 114-114, with Abraham winning the final round to even up our card.
It's not really that there's much issue with Abraham (41-4, 28 KO) getting his hand raised in this one, but the scorecards all but gave Abraham the fight and barely reflected what Smith (35-4, 20 KO) did in this fight, and it was a career-best performance for him.
What it comes down to is this, basically: Do you believe the judges intended to properly score the fight? If so, then cry robbery all you want. There is certainly a good argument Abraham deserved the win here, but at 117-111? Maybe you can argue that. Maybe. 119-109 is truly preposterous, however, and opens up lots of questions. Is there a root problem? Is there something more than "oh, that judge must be BLIND"? Because there sure would be a whole lot of incompetent judges who seem to pop up for high-level fights like this one where one guy has a profitable base and the other does not.
If you thought it was a close fight, did you ever really believe Smith had an honest chance at getting the win on the cards?
Aside from yet another bit of controversy, this was a solid, competitive fight that saw Smith push the tempo, making Abraham expend a lot more energy than King Arthur prefers. Abraham was smiling and confident after four rounds, but he never found that big shot to turn Smith's motor off, or even slow him down. And that meant that Abraham spent a lot of the fight trying to keep pace with Smith, which was to Smith's benefit. Whether or not Smith, who did his best work to the body, really out-fought Abraham is another discussion. We saw it as close. Judges Waleska Roldan (117-111, New York), Zoltan Enyedi (117-111, Hungary), and Fernando Laguna (119-109, Spain) apparently did not.
Matthew Macklin scored an eight-round majority decision win over club fighter Jose Yebes. Macklin is now 31-5 (20 KO), winning on scores of 77-75, 77-75, and 76-76, enduring an awkward opponent who made for an ugly fight, and possibly showing some signs of wear and tear.
Cruiserweight Mateusz Masternak improved to 33-2 (24 KO) by stopping Ben Nsafoah (15-12-2, 8 KO) after five rounds.
Prospects Enrico Koelling, Noel Gevor, Vincent Feigenbutz, and Stefan Haertel all won.