WBO rule out mandatory Arthur Abraham v Paul Smith return

Phil Jay 18/10/2014

The World Boxing Organisation have ruled that recent mandatory challenger Paul Smith will not be handed an immediate rematch in light of the controversy over his first fight with super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham.

Smith was beaten via a highly contentious decision 117-111 (twice) and 119-109 despite seemingly pushing Abraham to a verdict that could have easily done either way in Kiel, Germany.

WBO President Paco Valcarcel has decided that the win for Abraham was not in question, but rather the manner in which the fight was officiated and therefore Smith now has to fight his way back to the number one position.

“Resolution on Abraham v Smith to be notified on Monday. Rematch petition is denied,” said Valcarcel.

“What caused controversy was margin of scores, not result. Furthermore, due to Paul Smith’s inspired performance, the Championship Committee recommends that he retain his Top 5 position in the WBO Rankings.
Valcarcel added: “We are the first ones to condemn scoring of this fight, particularly Laguna’s outrageous 119-109 for Abraham card.”

Smith, who is promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, also made a short statement on hearing the outcome and plans to keep plugging away in his bid to overturn what the Liverpudlian believes has robbed him of his greatest achievement.

“Gutted that the WBO aren’t making a straight rematch. I do believe I’ll get the rematch voluntarily, though. I’ve proved I belong up here,” he vowed.

There is still a slim chance that Abraham and his handlers Sauerland will offer Smith a second attempt through a voluntary defence, although the German has his sights set on facing the winner of the upcoming fight between compatriots Felix Sturm and Robert Stieglitz.

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