ON Saturday (September 27), when he challenges WBO super-middleweight Arthur Abraham in Kiel, Germany, Paul Smith will become the first of the four Smith brothers to compete for a world title. He’ll bring sizeable support from his Liverpool hometown but faces a seasoned world titlist.
His trainer Joe Gallagher knows the size of the task Smith faces. “He’s got a very good jab. He controls a lot of things with the jab. The big left hook seems to be there,” Joe said of Abraham. “He hasn’t got bad feet, Arthur Abraham, he knows when to step back and how to move out of range. With Paul we’ve worked on a few things, what to expect when he comes, what to do when he comes. He’s quite tricky to pin on the ropes himself. He likes to get off and move off himself and go for walks. We’ve really studied him and hopefully we’ve ticked all boxes now.”
Looking at Abraham’s recent fights Gallagher doesn’t believe the Germany-based Armenian is on the slide. “It wasn’t a decline. It’s just that he took his eye off the ball. Arthur Abraham, I don’t think it’s so much a decline, it’s whether he can get up for the big fights,” he said. “A fully motivated, focused Arthur Abraham is a hard fight for any of the world champions.
“He knows what to do and when to do it how often to do it to win these fights and I’m sure he’ll be pulling on all that world championship experience with Paul Smith.
“Paul’s got to go out there and not be in awe. I think the thing with Paul Smith, he’s been involved in big fights, been around or in big fights himself.”
“He’s been around a long time,” Gallagher said of his man. “He’s a well travelled, well seasoned fighter.”
“Paul Smith can whack,” Joe warned. “If Paul hits you and hits you clean, you’ll go.”
“We want him to underestimate Paul Smith,” he continued. “Sooner or later it’s his time, whether it’s Smith that’s going to be able to do it remains to be seen. We’re going over there, we’re highly confident.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Paul Smith, it couldn’t have come at a better time for him.”
For the full fight preview don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News