German boxing has come under the spotlight for the wrong reasons tonight as a debatable decision was carded in favour of Arthur Abraham, despite the home fighter being far from at the races on fight night against Paul Smith.
Abraham, 34, found Smith hard to deal with from round one in Kiel, but failed to deal with a superbly executed right to the body from the challenger throughout, and at the end of the day was involved in a real fight despite the pre-fight odds.
Smith came out fast which was fully expected, as Abraham is a notoriously slow starter, and was able to keep up the pace for the duration to at least be on a par with the two-weight world champion through what was a hard-fought battle against a seasoned operator.
The Liverpudlian was totally written off in the build-up, by many of those who should have been cheering him on, but put in a creditable performance that warranted a better result from the judges that were paid to be scoring at ringside.
At the end of the day, Smith went down to an incredible 119-109 card by Spanish official Fernando Laguna, which needs to be full analysed by the powers that be, whilst the other cards saw it 117-111.
Even at 117-111, Smith would be fully entitled to have grievances, although the Scouser can certainly come again and should be in the mix for a shot at the best 168lbers in the UK.
A rematch with Abraham is the least he could expect though.