Ward too strong for Smith

The result means that the 31-year-old Ward remains unbeaten in 27 fights including 14 knockouts. 

Ward has been very inactive, his last fight prior to Saturday’s bout was 19 months ago when he beat Edwin Rodriguez in November of 2013.

On Saturday Ward out-classed Smith, who came into the fight four pounds over the weight limit; his corner eventually threw in the towel in the ninth round to protect their man from further punishment. 

The other high-profile non-title fight of the night was in Las Vegas, where welterweight Shawn Porter won a unanimous 12-round decision against Adrien Broner despite being knocked down in the final round.

Porter’s career stats improve to 25-1-1 with 16 knockouts and Broner stats read 30-2 with 22 knockouts.