PAUL SMITH believes he has the tools to take the WBO super-middleweight title from Arthur Abraham when the pair clash for the crown in Kiel, Germany tomorrow night live on Sky Sports.
The Liverpool star tipped the scales at 11st 13 ½ lbs ahead of his first world title shot with Abraham weighing 12st, and Smith wants to add his names to the British and all-time greats that have landed the WBO crown.
“I am fighting for the same belt that Joe Calzaghe and Steve Collins had, Chris Eubank had it and Eubank vs. Benn was for this title, Sugar Ray Leonard fought for this belt,” said Smith. “Now I am going to fight for it in a fight that I can win and I know that if I get this game plan right that I am going to win.
“I am 100 per cent the underdog and I know I am. But that is what I want, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is something that is a fact; he is a world champion and I am a challenger. Nine times out of ten the challenger is going to be the underdog anyway, but a challenger who has never fought for a world title before against somebody who has had 19 World title fights, I am definitely going to be an underdog. When I made my debut he was in big fights and when I was moving through the six and eight-rounders he was a world champion. So I need to up my game and be at my best.
“I am expecting the best Arthur Abraham that there has ever been. I am ready for the best Arthur Abraham and I am going in there against a man who I believe will defend his belt like and demon and who I believe will treat me like Andre Ward, and anything less is a bonus. I am not going in there underestimating him. I am going to stick to my game plan. I am going to force my game plan onto him, nullify what he does and do what I do best.
“When you are fighting a puncher you have to keep tight and you can’t switch off, but that is a fact in every fight that I have. I believe every fight I have at British level, European level and at World level if you get caught you are going to get knocked out so you have to make sure you keep tight all the time. He is a world-class puncher, a proven world-class puncher, and I have to nullify that and I have to make sure I keep tight, keep sensible, keep smart.
“There are advantages I have and there are advantages that he has over me. He is more experienced than I am at this level, but he is a lot more battle hardened at this level as well in my opinion. He has had a lot more hard fights than me – some could see that as a plus and some could see that as a big minus. I see it as a minus. I am taller than him. Height hasn’t really bothered him in the past but I am taller than him and I am a bigger than him.
“It will be a battle of the jabs, he has a great jab and so have I. It is all about getting it right on the night and the game plan I have, which we all believe will work, I have to put that into play on tomorrow night and that is what will win the title.”