Liverpool's Paul Smith aged 31 seems set to get the chance of a lifetime with a world title shot against Arthur Abraham all but finalised.
Smith holds a record of 35 wins and three losses and is the eldest of the illustrious boxing Smith brothers. They are all good boxers who are achieving good things and are part of the hugely successful Joe Gallagher stable.
Gallagher has built up a stable full of top boxers with names such as Scott Quigg, Anthony Crolla, Scotty Cardle and the four Smith brothers.
Smith will face the veteran Abraham in Germany reportedly on September 27 on a Sauerland card. Abraham aged 34 holds a record of 40 wins and four losses was a huge success at middleweight beating everyone in his path but he has had less success since making the step-up to super-middleweight.
Abraham in decline
Abraham's four defeats as a professional have all come at super-middleweight and he seems to be a fighter on the decline who isn't quite as effective at this weight. He is however a hugely experienced boxer who has fought some of the biggest names out there.
The likes of Robert Stieglitz, Andre Ward, Carl Froch, Andre Dirrell and Jermain Taylor have all faced off with Abraham and that sort of level of opponent is not present on the record of Paul Smith.
Smith has fought some good boxers but the best two names on his record are James Degale and George Groves. Both have gone on to do well in the sport so far but Smith was knocked out by both.
There are arguments that whenever Smith has taken on a boxer of a higher than domestic level that he has lost and that he doesn't deserve his shot at the WBO world title.
Smith is highly rated in the WBO rankings and the fighters above him are involved in other fights so Smith is in effect the next name of the list for Abraham.
Smith has improved
Smith is a man who following his break from the sport and decision to get involved in commentating on the sport seems to have improved. He seems to have developed his in-ring prowess through analysing other fights and that has seen him in impressive form of late.
Yes his last couple of opponents haven't been up to much but he has found himself in a difficult situation of being unable to defend his Lonsdale belt due to a lack of opposition in the division for him.
There is a great deal of British talent but most of them are already above British level and are looking beyond such a fight. This with the lure of a shot at Abraham in mind has forced Smith into a couple of keep-busy fights just to keep the ring rust away.
Smith will go out to Germany as the underdog in the fight and rightly so as he hasn't campaigned at the same level as Abraham has done for years but he does have a legitimate chance of pulling off an upset.
He is a good boxer with good power and if he goes in with the right game plan against what seems to be a fading Abraham then you never know.
One thing that is for certain is that Smith will prepare meticulously and will give everything that he has got in what looks to be an entertaining fight due to the style of both fighters.
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