There were three televised fight cards on Saturday evening. The biggest attraction was Shawn Porter’s win over Adrien Broner, televised live on primetime on NBC. However, there was plenty more to see, including Andre Ward’s return from a lengthy layoff, and a vacant IBF middleweight title fight between David Lemieux and Hassan N’Dam.
Andre Ward Stops Paul Smith
Smith is a rugged customer, having lasted 24 rounds against Arthur Abraham in two spirited losing efforts. Against Ward, the difference in class was far too much, even with Ward’s apparent rust. It was the S.O.G.’s second fight in nearly three years. Ward dominated from the start, and broke down Smith, who suffered a broken nose in the fight. Ward was declared winner by TKO9.
The fight was contested at a catchweight of 172 lbs, so with this comeback win out of the way, it will be interesting to see if Ward drops back down to super middleweight, or moves up in full to the bigger names at light heavyweight.
David Lemieux Wins Vacant Title Strap
David Lemieux won a unanimous decision over Hassan N’Dam, taking home the vacant IBF title strap at 160 lbs in the process. Lemieux sent N’Dam down to the canvas four times, but as Peter Quillin found out on an earlier occasion, you can send N’Dam down as much as you’d like — he’s going to continue getting up and fighting.
Lemieux improves to 34-2, with 31 KOs. With his all-action, aggressive style, his huge fan base in Montreal, and a title strap around his waist, he’s sure to be in the mix for some very intriguing fights. Who wouldn’t love to see him in there with the likes of Gennady Golovkin, or the winner of the Canelo Alvarez-Miguel Cotto clash? As for N’Dam, who falls to 31-2, he’ll still be right in the scene as well, and there will be more opportunities for him in the future.