Smith: Best is yet to come

“You just have to accept the conditions” the Open leader J.B. Holmes

Just four months ago, the Merseysider threatened to make a mockery of his underdog tag as he troubled the experienced champion in a valiant points defeat.

But Smith insists he learned an important lesson from that loss, which created controversy due to the generous scoring towards Abraham, and will raise his standards even higher in Saturday???s rematch, live on Sky Sports.

???I believe I???m at my best. I???ve improved since the first fight,??? he said. ???It will be a tough, hard fight as well as technically.

???All the stuff that I???ve worked on in the gym will help at this stage for boxing, fighting for a world title, and it???s one I believe I handled well last time and I???ll handle it even better this time.???

His promoter Eddie Hearn believes the former British champion will approach the return bout with renewed confidence and predicted the end of Abraham???s reign.

???The first fight was very, very close and since then there was a lot of demand for the rematch and we have managed to make it happen,??? said Hearn.

???I think you are going to see a different fight this time. I think Paul Smith went into that first fight believing that he could be a world champion and now he knows that he can be a world champion by beating Arthur Abraham.

???This is Paul Smith???s time to win a world title and everybody believes it???s going to happen.???

But Abraham, a two-weight title holder, has vowed to defeat Smith in dominant fashion.

He said: ???As a person I respect everyone, regardless of them being a sportsman or not, but inside the ring I have to destroy him. After the fight, we can still be friends.

???I will definitely beat him and if I feel like I can knock him out, I will do so.???