Paul Smith (38-6, 22 KOs) is an example of a fighter who doesn’t need to do much to get world title fight, as they keep rolling into his lap. The 34-year-old Smith, who has twice failed in the past when fighting for world titles against former WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, has been picked out by the promoters for WBA World super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge (19-0-1, 11 KOs) to fight him on March 18 in Germany.
This is a mind-boggling choice by Zeuge’s promoters, as Smith has no wins of substance since losing three straight fights to Abraham twice and Andre Ward. Those fights took place in 2014 and 2015. Smith won three recent victories against these fighters: Bronislav Kubin, Bartlomiej Grafka and Daniel Reji.
About the only reason I can think that Smith is getting a world title shot against Zeuge is that he was seen by the German boxing fans a lot in his two losses to the German based Abraham, so it’s easier to sell a fight with Smith in Germany than it would be if one of the lesser known contenders were picked out to fight Zeuge.
Besides that, Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn occasionally matches his fighters against Zeuge’s promoters at Sauerland to make fights. It’s unclear if this was one of those fights made to help strengthen the bond between the two promotional companies or what. It’s a fight that helps Zeuge, because he doesn’t look like a guy that will hold onto his World Boxing Association title for a long time.
Even with careful match-making by putting him in with an unranked guy like the 34-year-old Paul Smith, Zeuge is not going to hold onto his WBA title for very long. But I also never thought a mediocre fighter like Arthur Abraham would hold onto the WBO super middleweight title for two years like he did. But things are made easy when you’re able to defend your WBA title against these types of fighters: Nikola Sjekloca, Paul Smith [x 2], Robert Stieglitz and Martin Murray. If Zeuge can get the same kind of weak match-making that Abraham received, then he might be able to hold onto his WBA title for a couple of years regardless of him not having great talent or much in the same of power.
The boxing world was shocked at the news that Paul Smith is being allowed to fight for a world title, because he’s failed already twice and he hasn’t put together any wins over good opponents since his two failures in fighting for titles against Abraham. When Smith was beaten by Andre Ward in 2015, he was seen as finished as a fighter in the minds of a lot of boxing fans. The fact that Smith is being given another world title shot after those losses is troubling.