Sometimes pure technical boxing can be just as fun to watch as an all out brawl.  After being out of the ring since November of 2013, Andre Ward (28-0, 15 KO’s), did not miss a beat.  Ward looked sharp and quick, en rout to demolishing the overweight Paul Smith.  Ward last fought almost 2 years ago, so a little ring rust was to be expected.  But there was no ring rust what so ever.  Ward displayed lightning quick combinations, and stayed behind his jab throughout.

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When Andre Ward is active, he is no doubt one of the best in the world.  In fact, before his long layoff, he was ranked #2 on TheRing Magazine pound for pound list.  Ward got himself on that list by defeating the likes of Sakio Bika (11/27/10), followed by Arthur Abraham (5/14/11), Carl Froch (12/17/11), and Chad Dawson (9/8/12).

Ward would come out poised and controlled in his attack of Paul Smith.  Hitting him with every punch you can think of, and Smith had no defense for the onslaught.  Ward was basically in the ring with a pouching bag last night, as he was landing everything he threw.  You could literally see the huge difference in skill level between Ward and Smith.  It was not surprising at all, as I have already said Ward is one of the best in the sport.  Andre Ward landed 231 of 586 punches (38%), while Smith landed 47 of 266 (18%).  That pretty much says it all, as the accumulation of punches was simply too much for Smith to overcome.  Smith’s corner would finally put a stop to this one sided beat down, and rightfully so.  Ward stays undefeated, and proves that no matter how long the layoff, he is still one of the best in the world.

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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