sport

Smith stays sharp for Abraham

Paul Smith will sharpen his skills against Spaniard David Sarabia on Saturday ahead of a possible world title shot against Arthur Abraham.

Smith admitted talks are being held with Abraham about a WBO super-middleweight title defence in Berlin and the Liverpudlian will stay busy with an eight-rounder on this weekend's big Cardiff bill, live on Sky Sports.

Abraham has held world titles in two weight divisions, but Smith insists he is one of the weaker champions in a big-name division that also includes Andre Ward and Carl Froch.

"It is no secret that I want to fight Abraham, it is no secret that talks have been held, and it is no secret that it probably will happen in the autumn," said the British champion.

"It would have been a nice scenario to win the British outright and then go for a world title but there is nobody to fight for that so I will box an eight rounder to keep active.

"If I get the Abraham fight made for when I think it will be made, Saturday will be my last fight before I fight Arthur Abraham, because I am not going to take any chances on injuries. You have seen how many people have busted their hands up recently in fights and had cuts. I am not going to risk anything if I get this world title fight made with Abraham, which is looking very, very likely.

"Abraham is a star in Germany and boxing in Germany is big, really big. He pulls in five, six million viewers on German TV for his fights and that is big money for him. For him to come to Liverpool he has to think the fight is worth it; and a fight against me is just a regular voluntary for him.

"I have no problem going to Germany and getting paid decent money while still being showcased on Sky Sports and still having every chance of beating Abraham. It will be in Berlin, his hometown, where he wants to build up a fan-base.

"I am happy to fight him absolutely anywhere because it is a world title challenge and it is a winnable fight for me. It is a fight I know I can win and anybody looking knows I have a chance. I have said time again I would fight Andre Ward, but it would be a very, very hard night against Andre Ward and I am not calling him out for that reason.

"With all due respect Abraham isn't on the level of Ward. He was maybe eight years ago at middleweight, but it is a different kettle of fish with him now. He is battle hardened and battle-worn so to speak, but he is very beatable. His style is made for me and I think mine maybe is for him too. I think it is going to gel for a great fight."

Smith is joined on the undercard by younger brother Callum, who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Tobias Webb.

Former world champion Nathan Cleverly makes his cruiserweight debut against Shaun Corbin, while fellow Welshman Lee Selby battles Mexican Romulo Koasicha in a WBC featherweight title eliminator.

Gavin Rees will bow out of the pro game with a rematch against Gary Buckland, who edged a thrilling lightweight clash in February.

Watch Paul Smith v David Sarabia as part of Fight Night - Live. Coverage gets underway this Friday at 7:30pm on Sky Sports 1.