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Paul Smith interested in facing Barker or Murray

Darren Barker Paul SmithBy Sean McDaniel: Former British super middleweight champion Paul Smith (31-3, 17 KO’s) wants a shot at either Martin Murray or Darren Barker to prove that he belongs at the top of the middleweight division and he’s hoping one of them will take him on.

Smith just gave off of two surgeries on his right hand to repair a badly broken Metatarsal bone that he fractured in his 2nd round knockout loss to British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion George Groves last November.

Smith broke the bone in the 1st round after landing a hard right hand to the head of Groves. Had the fight gone past the 2nd round, it’s likely that Smith wouldn’t have been able to fight on much longer due to bad break, which took away his main weapon in the fight.

Smith has now lost two out of his last four fights, losing to James DeGale by a 9th round TKO in December 2010 and then the Groves knockout loss. Smith still feels he can back to the top and plans on moving back down to middleweight where he hopes he can work his way to a title shot against one of the champions.

Smith told the “I need to prove to them [Murray and Barker] I can hold my own on the world scene…I believe I can be a strong and big hitting middleweight; it’s just about getting the opportunity. If Murray or Barker offered me a fight, I would take it in a heartbeat. But I can’t see myself getting a shot straight away because this is how the game works. I will probably need to get myself into a mandatory position again.”

I think it’s safe to say that Smith won’t be getting selected by Murray or Barker any time soon for a fight. Smith can punch like a top middleweight but when it comes to getting hit back, that’s where he has problems. He’s also not the fastest fighter, and his defense and stamina are questionable. He needs a lot of work and he’s getting up there in age nearing 30. It’s unclear how much improvement can be made in his game at this point in his career.

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