By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star

PAUL SMITH plans to make his experience count when he bids to make it third time lucky in Germany tonight.

Smith takes on WBA world super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge in Wetzlar.

And having lost back-to-back challenges for the WBO belt against Arthur Abraham, he aims to make the most of what is likely to be his final bid for major honours.

The 34-year-old Scouser said: “Your next fight is always the most important of your career and this certainly could be my last chance so I have to make it count.

“If I lose, the wheels could fall off. It could be my last chance to become a world champion.”

Smith, who has a record of 38-6-0, says that learning from past mistakes can help him succeed on the world stage.

He had world title bouts with Abraham in September 2014 and February 2015, dropping a contentious points decision to the German veteran in their first fight.

He then suffered a more comprehensive defeat five months later.

Smith said: “I’ve been there and done it now. After two world title fights, I know what to expect.

“I now have a lot more experience because I am that bit older. I’ve got another chance and I see no reason why I can’t win.

“The timing is right for me. I came so close to achieving my lifetime dream of becoming a world champion in that first fight with Arthur Abraham, which I still believe I won. OK, I lost the second one fair and square but now I have to step up to the block.”

Smith knows he will have his work cut out against Romanian Zeuge, who captured the WBA strap with an impressive knockout victory over Giovanni De Carolis last November.

Having fought to a stalemate four months earlier, 25-year-old Zeuge claimed the title in style, stopping the Italian champion with just 19 seconds remaining in the final round.

Smith said: “Zeuge is a very decent fighter. Technically he is very good. He’s strong and he throws good straight shots.

“But I’ve also seen weaknesses that I will be able to capitalise on.”

Zeuge countered: “His style is suited to mine and I’m confident I can beat him.”