Andre Ward v Paul Smith - hear the British boxers' verdicts

Published On Thursday, June 18, 2015By
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward makes his return to the ring following a 19 month layoff against tough contender, Paul “Real Gone Kid” Smith in a 12 round bout presented by Roc Nation Sports in Ward’s backyard at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Many critics have already written off the Brit but after two good accounts against Arthur Abraham, Smigga has certainly proved that he is serious contender at that level. Here's what some of Britain's best boxers had to say about it:
    Luke Blackledge 19-2-2 (Blackburn) Commonwealth super-middleweight champion "Ward stops him."
  Lloyd Ellett 17-0 (Brighton) 3x Masters champion "Have to back Ward to win but Smith is in a no-lose situation, just needs to go for it, nothing expected of him, plenty of movement, feints and aggressive attacks! Hopefully, the inactivity for Ward plays a part."
  Dean Gillen 1-0 (Nottingham) Unbeaten middleweight "On paper, Ward is too much for Smith, however a lot of people thought that about Abraham, but Smith gave a great account of himself. I think people may be shocked at Smith, I believe he will give a good account of himself against Ward, also. I don't think either fighter has massive punch power, Ward is a class . . . . or was class, who know's how he is going to fair following his return from injury? I think he will still come through to beat Smith, but Smith definitely has the British bulldog quality that every underdog needs, in order to cause an American upset."
  Thomas Kindon 4-0 (Guildford) Unbeaten super-bantamweight "I think Ward will outbox him on the backfoot and then slow down after six or seven then it will start to get a bit messy I think!"
  Mickey Diggin (Hemel Hempstead) Lightweight debutant "I think this is a bit of a mismatch and I cant blame Paul Smith for taking the fight as no boxer will turn down another world title shot so fair play to him but Andre Ward is one of the worlds best P4P. I think he dominates from the first bell and will make Paul very confused and I can see a late stoppage. All the best to Paul Mmith though, you cant blame him!"
  Nick Parpa (London) Cruiserweight debutant "I predict Ward to win on points."
  Bryn Wain (Yeovil) Light-heavyweight debutant n>