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.