Andre Ward slams 'unprofessional' Paul Smith who misses catchweight by 4.4lbs
Andre Ward branded Paul Smith 'unprofessional' after the British fighter weighed in 4.4lbs over the 172-pound catchweight limit for their Saturday showdown in California.
Smith came in at 176.6lbs with American Ward at 171.8. The two teams, after hours in talks, have come up with a new, as yet unknown weight limit, which both men must make at another weigh-in later today. Smith will also have to pay a fine for not making 172lbs.
For his last fight, against WBO super-middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, Smith weighed 165.5lbs.
Ward looked lean and in relaxed mood as he returns to the ring after 19 months away and he hit out at Smith for coming in at cruiserweight.
"I'm disappointed with Paul," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "I heard last night that as of yesterday morning he was eight pounds over. You've got to realise in negotiations, my team said 172 and he fought to have it at 170. And he comes in four pounds overweight. It's very unprofessional.
"Right now my team has work to do with the commission and with Paul's team. We're just not going to be okay with that. I did my part to make my weight like a professional. If he struggled that much with the weight he should have alerted us a long time ago. There could have been a change in the weight. If you wait until the last minute and then get on the scales - it's not a good look.
"It makes you think, 'is this a strategy?' It doesn't make me more confident - it makes me more motivated. I did my part to make the weight. He didn't and I feel a certain way about that."
Smith's promoter Eddie Hearn admits Smith miscalculated.
"Obviously he got things wrong," he said. "Mainly with the travelling and the water retention, the way he does the weight - he's taken on a lot of fluids - and it hasn't worked out for him. Now he's missed the weight.
"We'll talk - I'm sure it will be fine for the fight. It seems to be a common trend right now in boxing. There are always issues now to resolve and discuss."http://www1.skysports.com/boxing/news/12183/9890548/andre-ward-slams-unprofessional-paul-smith-who-misses-catchweight-by-44lbs
Unfortunately I don't see Smith achieving much in this fight. He seemed quite negative in his interview during the week too, this weight problem only adds to that. Going for Ward to win convincingly and possibly with a late stoppage.