TYRON ZEUGE had few problems with British veteran Paul Smith, as he notched a unanimous decision victory over 12 rounds in front of his German fans at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Hessen. All three judges tabled realistic 119-108 scores.
The contest had been derided by critics beforehand as a consequence of the secondary WBA super-middleweight title at stake and, more specifically, Smith doing little to merit a shot at it. He couldn’t justify his chance when it came to the fight either as – for long periods – he allowed the younger, fresher and faster champion to control the pace.
Smith, 34, did have some success in the third round when his clubbing right caused Zeuge to stumble then carelessly fire back, and as the fight coasted towards the end, the Englishman enjoyed a solid 11th round. The challenger also had moderate success in the final round before stumbling to the deck in the final moments. Smith claimed he slipped but, no matter, the fight had long been won and lost.
Zeuge controlled with his jab from the start. He rocked Smith back in the seventh and, after an eye-catching upperuct, in the eighth. The improving Zeuge was sharp and efficient, but did not look unbeatable. Smith, however, appears to have reached the end.
After the contest, former British 168lb boss Smith said he would talk to his family before deciding on his next move, and his promoter Eddie Hearn said it was “100 per cent” the end of the Scouser’s world title ambitions.