|Will Paul Smith shake things up?|
That's who British super middleweight Paul Smith reminds me of - Marlon Starling.
Not that Smith looks or fights like the Hartford CT, 80s era champ. It's just that Smith is an experienced old hand who's going up one of the most lauded fighters in the world. Just like Starling was when he faced Mark Breland for the first time back in 87.
Breland, of course, was an up and comer, a man on his way to superstardom. It was said that the battle hardened Starling would prove a good "test" for the man. Nothing more. How stunned everyone was. Breland ended up getting knocked out and Starling shook the world.
Truth be told, no one expects such a thing to happen in the Smith-Ward match. But no one expected it to happen in the Starling-Breland match, either. Breland had all the skills, all the advantages. Starling had experience, but that was about it.
Like Smith, Starling also had a tendency to lose his most lauded bouts before entering the biggest match of his career. Yet he won. Will Smith? Most don't think so. But, as Starling could tell you, you can't write off an experienced vet. Even if your name is Breland.
Or Ward, for that matter.