By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
CALLUM SMITH insists he is not looking beyond Juergen Braehmer to a domestic dust-up with George Groves.
The Scouse scrapper faces Braehmer, 39, in Nuremberg on Saturday in a semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series, an eight-man elimination tournament.
Smith’s English rivals Groves and Chris Eubank Jr met at Manchester Arena last night for the other place in the final, due to take place in May.
Unbeaten Smith, 27, admits facing either WBA world super-middleweight champion Groves or Eubank Jr would have been a harder route to the final than veteran German Braehmer, who has stepped down a division.
But he said: “On paper, I have an easier semi-final than Eubank and Groves. They are both good fighters but I thought I had a tougher quarter-final than both of them. Groves and Eubank have both beaten middleweights on the way to their semi-final, I’m up against a former world light-heavyweight champion. So I still have a tough fight on my hands.
“He’s awkward and he fights the way he knows that wins. I have to expect a good version of Juergen Braehmer. I’ve been focusing on Braehmer. I’ve always taken one fight at a time.
“A fight against [Groves] would be a huge fight and it adds to the motivation. I’ve got a lot to lose if I slip up.
“That’s why I feel I have to stay focused and then I can focus on the final against Groves. But I would be very foolish to look past Braehmer with what’s at stake. I expect Braehmer to give me some problems.”
Meanwhile, Hughie Fury reckons Joseph Parker will give Anthony Joshua problems in their world heavyweight title unification clash.
Fury, 23, takes on Norwich’s Sam Sexton for the British heavyweight title at Bolton’s Macron Stadium on May 12.
The Manchester boxer, cousin of ex-world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, lost his unbeaten record when New Zealand’s WBO champion Parker beat him on a majority points decision.
Parker faces Briton Joshua – the IBF, IBO and WBA champion – in Cardiff on March 31 and Fury reckons there could be an upset.
Fury hopes beating Sexton will be the first step towards him being involved at the top level again.
He said: “Styles make fights and Parker, with the fast hands, could give Joshua a few problems.
“I would have liked the rematch with Parker because it would have been a different job altogether.
“I’d been out of the ring for two years but every day that passes I feel better and better, stronger.
“Now against Sexton you will see a completely different me. I’m not messing around anymore, it has made me more hungry than ever.”