Callum Smith: I’m looking forward to George Groves fight
By Jim Dower: Callum Smith had to go the 12 round distance to beat substitute opponent Nieky Holzken tonight in winning a 12 round unanimous decision to make it to the finals of the World Boxing Super Series against No.1 seed George Groves.
(Photo credit: World Boxing Super Series)
Smith won by the scores- 118-110, 117-111, 117-111 – against a very game 34-year-old Holzken, who fought like someone a lot younger than his age. The Danish fighter looked good for a guy with little experience in boxing. The 6’3” Smith (24-0, 17 KOs) won the fight due to his size advantage over the 5’11” Holzken and not because of his experience or power advantage.
Smith said after the fight that he was disappointed that he didn’t get a chance to face former light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer, who pulled out of their fight this week because of an illness.
“It was disappointing not to face Braehmer,” Smith said to Sky News. “But it was about reaching the final with Groves, that’s the fight I want. I’m looking forward to it; he was the one I wanted to beat. The fight I wanted was Groves; I hope his shoulder is OK.”
A confident looking Groves came into the ring after the fight and had a faceoff with Smith. Groves looked pretty menacing during the stare down. He really wants to win the World Boxing Super Series tournament. The 29-year-old earned his spot in the WBSS finals with a 12 round unanimous decision win over Chris Eubank Jr. last Saturday night.
Groves looked better in that fight than Smith did tonight. Groves’ jab and right hand helped him dominate Eubank Jr. Groves dislocated his left shoulder against Eubank Jr. He’s hoping the shoulder will be 100 percent by the time he faces Smith in less than 4 months. There’s a lot of time for Groves to heal, as long as he doesn’t need surgery to repair the problem.
Holzken, 34, has nothing to be ashamed of about his performance against Smith. He made it tough on Smith with his hard shots he landed in each round. He connected with some big right hand shot in rounds 1, 5, 8 and 12. Smith rolled with the shots, and he didn’t take them full force.
The 5’11” Holzken looked small in the ring compared to the taller 6’3” Smith. Once Smith got his jab working, he was never really threatened by Holzken. The only thing Smith had to worry about tonight was an occasional big shot from Holzken, and that was never going to be enough for him to score a knockout.