Callum Smith boost as Jurgen Brahmer withdraws from World Boxing Super Series semi-final

JOHN DILLON
Boost: Callum Smith will face Dutchman Nieky Holzken: Getty Images

Callum Smith's bid to meet George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series Final was given a boost today after Jurgen Brahmer withdrew due to illness.

The unbeaten super-middleweight Smith was due to fight the former light heavyweight champion in the semi-final in Nuremberg on Saturday but the German has had to pull out due to a severe cold.

The 27-year-old will now take on the less experienced Dutchman Nieky Holzken, a former kick-boxing champion who has scored 10 knockouts in 13 professional fights. Groves’s own bid to win the Muhammad Ali Trophy is in some doubt after he suffered a dislocated shoulder in his comfortable win against Chris Eubank Jr last weekend, although he hopes scan results will give him the all-clear to begin training soon for the June 2 final at the O2 Arena.

The change of opponent will mean a late alteration in tactics and preparation for Smith but it increases his chances of reaching the final.