British ‘Contender’ Paul Smith Jnr officially retires

WBN 17/06/2018

Winfried Mausolf

Three-time world title challenger Paul Smith Jnr. has announced his retirement from boxing on the one-year anniversary of his final fight against Tyron Zeuge. 

Losing via a unanimous decision, the 35 year-old’s defeat represented the seventh of a 45-fight career, which sprang to prominence on hit US TV show ‘The Contender’ in 2007.

Prior to making an appearance alongside Sugar Ray Leonard, Sylvester Stallone and future world champions Sam Soliman and Sakio Bika, Smith had gone 20-0 in the pro ranks fighting on undercards topped by the likes of Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton.

Despite winning his quarter-final during Season 3 of ‘The Contender’, Smith didn’t make it to the semi-finals due to an injury and was forced out of the competition.

Heading back home with domestic honors on his mind, Smith won the English title in his second return bout on home soil before suffering a shock defeat to Steve Bendall in June 2006 at Birmingham Arena.

Dusting himself down, ‘Smigga’ won four bouts on the trot until headlining at the newly-built all-purpose Echo Arena for the first time in October 2009.

Beating fellow-Liverpudlian Tony Quigley to claim the British super-middleweight belt, Smith then went on to defend the Lonsdale strap in another all-Merseyside affair with Tony Dodson five months later.

A third top billing in a row at the Dockland’s venue saw Olympic gold medallist James DeGale wrestle the title away from Smith, who was now firmly established as a top domestic name in the UK at 168 pounds.

Rematching Dodson in 2013, Smith regained his precious British crown following a failed attempt against George Groves eighteen months prior and by now the likeable Rotunda ABC product was on his way to world level.

Two fights with a seemingly unbeatable Arthur Abraham followed, the first of which resulted in a debatable decision, before Smith headed to America to take on arguably the best fighter in the world, Andre Ward.

Never one to disgrace himself in defeat, Smith took Ward nine rounds until succumbing to the super-middleweight king’s world-class combinations and settling back into to success on home soil.

Three straight victories led to a final chance against Zeuge in 2017, but after once again losing out via a decision, Smith walks away with respect and into a full-time position with the Sky Sports Boxing Team.

smith sky

Sky Sports

Heralded for his detailed knowledge of the sport, Smith will never be far from screens in his role as both pundit and commentator and WBN would like to wish him all the best for the future.

Full Instagram statement from Smith below: