Callum Smith vs Nieky Holzken was the second Super-Middleweight Semi-Final of Season 1 and it is replayed live tonight at 7pm (UK) on World Boxing Super Series Facebook and YouTube.
Smith and Holzken faced off for the first time at a media workout before their semi-final four days later on 24 February 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. At stake: A place in the final against George Groves for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Holzken, a former kickboxing star, stepped in to step up at late notice to substitute an ill Juergen Braehmer.
“I am stepping up to meet one of the big guys in the super middleweight division,” said Holzken. “But the fans can expect the unexpected on Saturday. I am here to beat Callum Smith.
“I’ve been waiting for this chance to come. I signed up as a substitute fighter so I’m in great shape and prepared for Saturday.”
After weeks of southpaw sparring to prepare himself for his original opponent, Smith was now facing the substitute in the shape of a Dutchman with a completely different skill set.
“Holzken looks like a good fighter,” said Smith, after watching his new opponent during the workout.
“It really doesn’t matter who I am facing on Saturday. I wasn’t happy about my performance against Erik Skoglund in the quarter-final. This time I will make a statement, not only to the boxing fans but also to George Groves. I want to put on a good show on Saturday.”
The unexpected did not happen at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, but Holzken’s performance was commendable against by far the top opponent of his career, and he did indeed give the Englishman trouble at times. Watch or rewatch Smith-Holzken tonight at 7pm (UK) tonight on World Boxing Super Series Facebook or YouTube.