Joe Gallagher says Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) can emulate George Groves’ feel good story by claiming a World title on his third attempt when he challenges Tyron Zeuge (20-0-1, 11 KOs) for the WBA World Super Middleweight strap on Saturday, June 15 at the Rittal Arena in Wetzlar, Germany, live on Sky Sports.
Groves won World honours at the fourth time of asking with a stunning sixth-round stoppage victory over the granite chinned Fedor Chudinov on May 27 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield following two epic clashes with domestic rival Carl Froch and a split decision loss to Badou Jack.
Gallagher believes Smith, who returns to Germany for a third World title challenge after back-to-back defeats to Arthur Abraham, can mimic Groves’ success by using his ring smarts and experience to dethrone the WBA ‘regular’ champion.
“If Paul Smith turns up like he did in the first fight with Abraham then we are leaving Germany with that belt,” said Gallagher. “That was a good fight. It was nip and tuck. We had success and when the bell went and I thought we might have nicked it. No-one gave him a chance going into that fight, but he went in there, acquitted himself well, and a lot of people thought he deserved to win.
“This is now his third attempt, and at this stage of his career, it’s the last roll of the dice. But I just have a good feeling about this fight. I think we could see another feel good story in British boxing, like we saw with George Groves. He won the World title on his fourth attempt and what a great story that was. Hopefully Paul can do the same and go and win that belt.
“He has the experience now. He’s been there before and he’s not going to be overawed with anything. It’s not like a kid going away and fighting for the World title for the first time. Paul doesn’t have to go through that this time. He knows the set up He’s well-travelled and he’s used to fighting away from home.
“Experience is vitally important but it’s no good having experience unless you’re going to do something with it. There’s a lot of talk sometimes about people having experience, but when you’ve got a young hungry fighter that want to make a statement and want to make a name for themselves, they can be very dangerous.
“Zeuge is that type of fighter. He’s a young champion who is trying to make his name for himself and trying to get to where fighters like Arthur Abraham have been in his country. So Paul has to be smart and use his ring experience. He needs to make sure that when Zeuge makes mistakes, which we know he does, he’s ready and in the right position to capitalise on this and counter.
“There’s no point Paul trying to fight like someone running a 100 metre race with someone ten years younger. You just can’t keep up. He’s got to use his intelligence like Bernard Hopkins did for so many years. He’s got to know when to punch and when not to punch. He’s got to be the smart old man in the fight.”
The WBA World Super Middleweight Championship clash between Tyron Zeuge and Paul Smith will be shown live and exclusive on SAT.1 and ran.de in Germany, and Sky Sports in the UK.