Current British super middleweight champion Paul ’Smigga’ Smith (35-3-0) will get his world title shot against WBO champion Arthur Abraham (40-4) on September 27 in Kiel, Germany. Talks between Matchroom and Sauerland Event have been ongoing since May with the German promoter finally announcing that tickets will go on sale from 9pm tomorrow.
Abraham first captured world honours almost nine years ago, winning the vacant IBF middleweight belt back in December 2005. The Germany based Armenian went on to make 11 defences spanning four years, before a move up to 168lbs to take part in the ’Super Six’ tourney saw him enter as a pre-tournament favourite despite not having competed at the weight before.
After a 12th round stoppage of Jermain Taylor in the tourney’s opening round, Abraham experienced his first career loss to Andre Dirrell by disqualification, and went on to be thoroughly outboxed by eventual finalists Carl Froch and Andre Ward.
Abraham regained a version of the world title in August 2012 with a close points victory over WBO holder Robert Stieglitz, who then inflicted his only stoppage loss seven months later when a dominant three rounds led to Abraham’s right eye completely closing up, and he was pulled out. Concluding a trilogy, Abraham narrowly outpointed Stieglitz in March this year and defended the WBO title in May against Montenegrin Nikola Sjekloca.
Although perhaps considered the weakest of the current champions at super middleweight, a victory against Abraham in Germany is a big ask for Smith, but the Liverpudlian’s only recent losses have come at the hands of James DeGale and George Groves, both considered to be world champions in waiting.
The September 27 date has been known for some time and so Smith should enjoy the benefit of a full training camp for what is a golden opportunity for the two-time British champion to shine on a world stage.
The fight will be screened live on Sky Sports in the UK. Package deals will be available through Matchroom, with other UK fighters featuring on the bill.