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Smith on Abraham rematch: ‘I’m 100 percent confident I will win’

11
Feb
Challenger Paul Smith attacks defending WBO super middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham during their Sept. 27 fight in Germany. Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Challenger Paul Smith attacks defending WBO super middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham during their Sept. 27 fight in Germany. Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

 

Super middleweight Paul Smith is “100 percent confident” he will defeat RING No. 2-rated WBO beltholder Arthur Abraham in their Feb. 21 rematch at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany, the boxer stated in a release from promoter Matchroom Sport.

Abraham (41-4, 28 knockouts) secured his fifth consecutive win over Smith (35-4, 20 KOs) in September by scores of 117-111 on the cards of Waleska Roldan and Zolton Enyedi and by 119-109 on that of Fernando Laguna. Laguna’s card prompted Smith’s camp to file a protest that was denied by the WBO.

But promoter Sauerland Event, which handles Abraham, and Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, which has Smith, negotiated the rematch.

“I’m extremely confident. I went into the first fight believing I could beat Abraham,” said Smith, 32, who was coming off a second round knockout over David Sarabia in May prior to facing Abraham. “This time, I go into the fight knowing I can beat him. I know what I am in with now and I’m 100 percent confident I will win. He won’t be able to rely on the judges this time.”

“I’m certainly fitter and better than last time too and I’ve improved technically. The first fight for me was a chance to prove that I belong at world level,” said Smith. “Although I didn’t get the decision, I felt I beat him and I got a massive confidence boost from that. I now know I belong at world level and I know I can mix it with the best.”

Abraham, 34, was coming off a unanimous decision over Nikola Sjekloca in May that followed his split decision over RING No. 5-rated super middleweight rival Robert Stieglitz on March 1. The win over Stieglitz earned Abraham the belt from the man who dethroned him by fourth round TKO in March 2013.

“I do believe Abraham will be fitter this time,” said Smith. “He will come to fight and that is exactly what I’ve prepared for.”

“Judgment Day: Abraham vs. Smith II” will will also feature bouts between British heavyweight David Price and Irineu Beato Costa Junior and German light heavyweight Enrico Koelling opposite Mirco Ricci.

Hearn has also announced that featherweight Josh Warrington will return to action on April 11.

 

Note: Information from a release from Matchroom Sport.