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The Great Inane Robbery: Abraham vs. Smith

Perception

There were farcical scores returned by the three judges in Abraham’s favour. The least the 34-year-old deserved was a draw. Frankly, the scores of 117-111, 117-111, 119-109 were ridiculous in a fight which was clearly much closer. The British supermiddleweight champion, who edged ahead in the late rounds as Abraham grew tired, struggling from Smith’s repeated attacks to the body. But nonetheless, Smith covered himself in glory, with legions of fellow Liverpudlians delighting in his effort. I had Smith winning by a round, as he pulled the fight back from rounds seven to eleven. Smith had fought a smart fight, on the move constantly, never getting trapped on the ropes, and matching the Armemian punch for punch. For me, they were even after eight rounds, the champion seemingly taking a breather in that eighth period. Daily Telegraph (UK)

Reality

Based on a 9 hour review of the fight footage I conducted Sunday:

Paul Smith threw 594 punches to Abraham’s 511 over the 12 rounds – managing to out throw the German in fully 10 of them. Smith threw with remarkable consistency only dipping markedly three times in the 4th, 5th, 8th rounds before returning to his standard metronome-like output of between 49 & 58 punches per round in the other 9 rounds.

The scoring blow count though painted a very very different picture with Abraham landing 253 of his 511 (49.5%) attempts to Smith’s 192 from 594 (32.3%). That’s a lead of 61 connects overall. Implying superior defensive work from Abraham – avoiding 67.7% of blows to the 50.5% avoided by Smith. Of course boxing is scored on a round by round basis & here is how those rounds unfolded on a land to land basis:

Very Clear Abraham Rounds

Round 5: Abraham lands 33 to Smith’s 13. Was also the only round that Abraham out-threw Smith. (There was one round with a dead-heat in punches thrown).

Round 3: Abraham lands 26 to Smith’s 17. Abraham landed 56.5% to Smith’s 29.3% during this round.

Round 4: Abraham lands 19 to Smith’s 13. Landing 47.5% to Smith’s 31% during this round.

Round 6: Abraham lands 19 to Smith’s 13. Abraham landed 41.3% to Smith’s 23.2% during this round.

Round 9: Abraham lands 27 to Smith’s 20. Abraham landed 64.3% to Smith’s 36.4% during this round.

Round 12: Abraham lands 20 to Smith’s 15. Abraham landed 39.2% to Smith’s 29.4% during this round.

Clear Abraham Rounds

Round 1: Although the differential between punches landed was relatively small – Abraham lands 11 to Smith’s 9 – Abraham’s landed with 44% of his shots thrown to Smith’s mere 17.6% with a great many of the remaining 82.4% of his shots thrown either missing or hitting the very high guarded gloves of the defensively superior Abraham.

Round 2: Although the differential between punches landed was zero in this round (one of only 2 such rounds) – both landing 15 – Abraham’s landed with 40.5% of his shots thrown to Smith’s 27.3% with a great many of the remaining 72.7% of his shots thrown either missing of hitting the very high guarded gloves of the defensively superior Abraham.

Round 10: Although the differential between punches landed was zero in this round (one of only 2 such rounds) – both landing 21 – Abraham’s landed with 60% of his shots thrown to Smith’s 38.2% with a great many of the remaining 61.8% of his shots thrown either missing of hitting the very high guarded gloves of the defensively superior Abraham.

Close Rounds Edged Out by Abraham

Round 7: Abraham lands 23 to Smith’s 20.

Round 8: Abraham lands 14 to Smith 12.

Round 11: Abraham lands 25 to Smith’s 24.

Two judges gave Smith 3 rounds – the most I could theoretically (& very generously) offer Smith based on the facts discovered & outlined above. The third – much chastised judge – gave Smith only 1 round – which based on the facts – incredibly – might well have been generous.

Observers fail to realize that owing to the round by round manner in which boxing is judged that, paradoxically, a 109-119 can describe a very competitive bout & a 112-116 a far less competitive one. How so? Well, if we raced each other over 100m 12 times & you beat me by 0.05s every single time you’d win 120-108 by boxing scoring logic… but if I won 4 of the 12 by 0.01s each & then lost the other 8 by 3.5s each I’d have “only” lost 112-116 by that same boxing scoring logic. The only fail-safe boxing scoring has is the rarely used “no knockdown 10-8 round“.

Paul Smith did far far better than most people expected him to do – but he fell short, owing to a defense that rendered him far too easy to hit – sometimes by a mile, sometimes by an inch – but by the logic of recognized boxing scoring as it stands the only fraud perpetrated in Germany on Saturday night was the outrage & charges of “disgust” or more absurdly any way. shape or form of “robbery”.

The role of SkySports in perpetrating this faux outrage is troubling indeed:

Jim Watt (Sky TV): 115-113 SMITH

Johnny Nelson (Sky TV): 117-116 SMITH (Ringside)

Nathan Cleverly (Sky TV): 114-114 DRAW

Martin Murray (Sky TV): 114-114 DRAW

The very clear political fault lines in British boxing are there for all to see:

Alex Steedman (BoxNation TV): 115-113 ABRAHAM

Andy Clarke (BoxNation TV): 115-114 ABRAHAM

The identity of others who have perpetrated this self-fulfilling myth are telling to me:

Tom Gray (Ring Magazine): 115-113 SMITH

Let’s see how the freelance boxing writer fraternity saw it:

Marius Vibe (Freelance): 116-112 ABRAHAM

John Hoolan (Freelance): 115-113 ABRAHAM

Total Media Scores

Abraham: 31 Media Scores, (59.6 per cent)

Smith: 9 Media Scores, (17.3 per cent)

2 of these were from SkySports commentators –  who enjoy an exclusive television agreement with Smith’s promoter & for who Smith, himself, often commentates.

Draw: 12 Media Scores, (23 per cent)

2 of these were from SkySports commentators – who enjoy an exclusive television agreement with Smith’s promoter & for who Smith, himself, often commentates.

Non-Aligned Media Scores

Abraham: 31 Media Scores, (64.6 per cent)

Smith: 7 Media Scores, (14.6 per cent)

Draw: 10 Media Scores, (20.8 per cent)

Matt Hamilton

Matt Hamilton

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