By Jake Donovan
As a continued reminder that boxing remains a far more celebrated sport beyond U.S. borders, Arthur Abraham’s rematch win over Paul Smith proved to be a big hit with viewers in Germany.
The bout - which aired live on SAT1 – registered more than 4 million viewers on Saturday evening. The network confirmed the news overnight, referring to the result as “[w]orld class: Arthur Abraham brings with title defense against Paul Smith strong 15.0% market share.”
Abraham (42-4, 28KOs) delivered a far more convincing performance than was the case in their first fight, though oddly with the scores much wider in their initial meet last September. The questionable ringside officiating was the only reason a rematch was ordered, though it gave Abraham a chance to prove he’s still among the best super middleweights in the world.
Smith was valiant in defeat, but outgunned particularly on the inside. The Brit brought over a throng of fans from the U.K., adding considerably to the final count of 9,000 or so packed inside the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany.
Next up for “King” Arthur is a potential clash with Felix Sturm in a long-awaited matchup of two of Germany’s favorite adopted sons. Sturm announced his intentions to compete at super middleweight, turning down a chance to fight for a vacant middleweight title in specifically calling Abraham by name.
Such a fight would do massive numbers in Germany, far beyond Abraham’s impressive ratings pull on Saturday.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox