Arthur Abraham sets next defense
Super middleweight Arthur Abraham will next defend his world title against Paul Smith on Sept. 27, Sauerland Event promoter Kalle Sauerland announced on Sunday.
The fight has been in the works for several weeks but was made official and will take place at the Sparkassen-Arena in Kiel, Germany.
Rafael's Boxing Blog
Get the latest scoop and analysis on the world of boxing from ESPN.com's Dan Rafael in his blog.
''We are delighted to announce this world championship fight between 'King' Arthur Abraham and Paul Smith. There is a lot on the line for both men and I am sure this will make for a great spectacle on Sept. 27," Sauerland said. "Smith has been waiting a long time for this opportunity and I fully expect him to do everything he possibly can to cause an upset. However, he is facing a dangerous Abraham, a hungry, in-form Abraham, who is looking to cement his position alongside the very best at the top of the super middleweight division."
Abraham (40-4, 28 KOs), 34, of Germany, will be making the second defense of his second 168-pound title reign. He regained the belt from Robert Stieglitz by split decision in March in their rubber match and outpointed Nikola Sjekloca in May in his first defense. He will be facing Smith in a city where he has had past success.
''This will be my fourth ring appearance in Kiel. I have won here three times before, two of them by knockout," Abraham said. "My fight on Sept. 27 will be the first time I've defended my WBO super middleweight belt here and there is no way I am going to lose. I will retain my world championship and continue my winning streak at the Sparkassen-Arena.''
Smith (35-3, 20 KOs), 31, of England, is a former British champion and participant on "The Contender" reality series. Since being knocked out in the second round by super middleweight contender George Groves in November 2011, Smith has won four fights in a row, although three of the victories came against opponents with sub-.500 records. The fight with Abraham will be his first crack at a world title.
''I am thrilled that the fight with Arthur Abraham has been confirmed,'' Smith said. ''Arthur is a great champion, a real gentleman and a brilliant ambassador for the sport. I do believe that our styles will make for a great fight, but I just think that I am getting him at the right time. I know I can beat him and have seen things in him that I can capitalize on. I am sure it will be a spectacular show and I'm proud to be fighting for a world title over in Germany.''
Said Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn, who represents Smith, "This is a huge opportunity for Paul and one that he and his trainer, Joe Gallagher, asked me to deliver for them.
"The two styles blend well. It's going to be a cracking fight and U.K. fans should head to Kiel on Sept. 27 with a number of other Matchroom fighters on the bill. Domestically the super middleweight division is red hot right now and Paul has the chance to gatecrash the world scene in Germany.''