Ward Victorious in 9th Round on TKO

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Round one started with Ward and Smith feeling each other out – with neither taking a significant advantage. By the later rounds Smith was bleeding significantly at times with blood dripping over his eye – Smith said, “the towel could not come soon enough” and “this was a war we did not want to fight anymore.”

Ward said he thought he broke Smith’s nose in the last round.

With RocNation Sports now backing Andre Ward – the fan base increased to a size we haven’t yet seen at Oracle Arena for Andre’s previous fights. With this, came a certain energy also not seen at Andre’s prior fights. This carried over to the larger numbers of media present for the post fight press conference.

Big name sports celebrities were following this fight across the nation – with a number of local sports celebrities in attendance ringside including Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Colin Kaepernick, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks running back and Oakland Native Marshawn Lynch and boxer Miguel Cotto (also attended the weigh-in the day prior to the fight).

A few quotes from Andre:
“We’ve been out 18 months and great teamwork won this fight. It took some time to get the ring rust off. I started with the jab. I wanted to come out big bang and get a first round KO but I have a great coach and he told me to take my time and the knockout will come.

He’s a tough guy. You could see he was much bigger than me tonight, he probably was about 190 tonight. That and he is very durable. That’s what you get when you get Paul Smith.

I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to lure me in then hit me with the big right hand. He his me with a couple of good shots but he didn’t hurt me.

His legs were getting wobbly. I could see the big cut on his face and I think I broke his nose. I know my job is to finish guys off. But he’s got a family and a life and he needs to live another day so it was good they stopped the fight.”

On grading his fight tonight:
“I give myself a B”

What is up next for Andre?
If I go up in weight I can fight Kovalev. I could fight Stephens but there would be politics involved in that. I will go home and talk to Virgil and ask him what he saw and what we have to fix. then we will go from there.

I could get down to fight at 168. I weighed 170 in camp and I could have lost another two. If I did that I could fight Froch or any other super middleweight.

Andre Ward vs Paul Smith Round Notes

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Round 1 AW looked a little better in this opening round. PS opened with a couple of good swings, but afterwards looked a bit more guarded. Fighters feeling each other out.
Called it even.

Round 2 Couple head shots by AW; an uppercut. AW was moving PS around the ring, moving forward. There was a flurry at the end, won by AW.
Round to AW

Round 3 Andre spends time measuring his left jab; keeping that jab in PS’s face throughout.
Round to AW.

Round 4 Smith is covering his face more. Aw is faster and keeps jabbing, with some other punches thrown in. PS’s face is getting red now from all of those jabs.
Round to AW

Round 5 AW gets a low blow warning this round. PS going forward more, but pretty much the same results; Andre’s left in his face.
Being generous, possibly a Even round, if not AW

Round 6 AW keeps working the head; lots of jabs. I don’t see AW winning by a KO.

PW another Jerry Quarry ? ( you old timers will know what I’m talking about ) AW able to get get his jabs in before PS can react. PS does get a shot in on AW, who gets a little ice on his left face above the eye. I see a TKO by AW.
Round to AW.

Round 7 AW continues jabbing and hitting rights to PS. PS gets a good punch in and AW stays in under PS’s arm til separated. PS looks like he’ll be going for a KO punch.

AW moving forward again; backs PS into the ropes and gets some hits in. PS looks ok in his corner, but he’s not getting anywhere with A.
Round to AW

Round 8 More Andre. A nice uppercut by AW. PS now has blood on the left side of his face. AW lowers his right and dances. PS was looking somewhat defenseless. I think he was saved by the bell.
Round to AW

Round 9 Burns looks OK at first; he’s trying for a KO. PS on the ropes and taking damage. Too much damage, the ref calls the fight.
Fight to AW by TKO, 1 min 46 second.

AW runs smiling and jumping to a corner, gets on the ropes and raises his arms. He is joyous. This defining moment of the evening is completely satisfying for AW and his fans. He goes to the opposite side and does the same. He is very happy. The crowd is roaring.

Andre Ward – Paul Smith Weigh in, Jack London Square

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Andre Ward and Paul Smith took to the scale on the terrace of the Plank Bar & Restaurant in Jack London Square earlier this afternoon. Andre as usual came in under his catch-weight limit of 172 lbs.

Smith on the other hand weighed in at 4.4 pounds over the 172 pound catch-weight limit. And he looked a bit overweight which could affect his performance.

The crowd that assembled wore an unusual amount of blue and gold – representing the pride Oakland has for the first championship in 40 years for the Golden State Warriors. The parade and public gathering had ended slightly earlier in the day and some fans along with Andre’s hard core supporters had drifted over here to watch the weigh-ins.

This venue was actually moved from Lake Merritt once the location, time and parade route had been settled upon after the Warriors win in 6 games.

It has to be nice for Andre to get back into the ring after this 19 month layoff in the prime of his career. And it will be nice for his fans to see him back in action.