By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
CALLUM SMITH’s camp are fuming at the prospect of travelling to Germany for his World Boxing Super Series semi-final against Jurgen Braehmer next month.
The Liverpool super-middleweight is set to face the German former world champion in the last four of the £20m tournament on February 24.
The victor will take on the winner of the other semi-final between WBA champion George Groves and Chris Eubank Jnr, which takes place in Manchester a week earlier.
Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher has requested a neutral site for the clash but it is expected it will take place in Braehmer’s native Germany, where he has fought all but one of his 52 professional bouts.
And Gallagher is fearful that his fighter will not be treated fairly if the fight takes place in Braehmer’s homeland.
He said: “In the FA Cup nobody gets home advantage in the semi-final, do they? Even before they played them at Wembley they would have them at Villa Park or somewhere like that.
“I just think this tournament is for the Muhammad Ali trophy and to have the name of such a well-respected boxing great should mean the tournament spirit should be about fairness.
“I have suggested Dublin as a great fight city, I’ve suggested Amsterdam, I’ve suggested Denmark or we could even take it to America.
“Yes Callum had home advantage in the quarter-finals but this is now the last four and it should be on neutral ground.
“Of course we are not going to pull out, we will go to Germany if that is the final decision but we are not happy about it and we need to make that clear.
“It should be a neutral venue and I hope they consider one, how can it be fair with so much on the line that Braehmer is fighting just down the road from where he lives?
“This is the World Boxing Super Series so why not take it around the world to somewhere different?”
Gallagher was in the corner for Matthew Macklin’s controversial points loss to Felix Sturm in Cologne back in 2011.
And Smith’s brother Paul was on the wrong end of a wide points defeat by German-based Arthur Abraham in 2014 even though the fight was a lot closer than the cards suggested.
Super-middleweight Smith did get home advantage for his quarter-final win over Erik Skoglund but Gallagher feels the last-four clashes should be on neutral ground.