(Picture courtesy of World Boxing Super Series)
EDMONTON, Canada (February 24, 2018) – This afternoon in the semifinals round finale of the incredibly entertaining World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament, undefeated challengers Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs), the World Boxing Council (WBC) Diamond champion, and late replacement Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (13-0, 10 KOs), square-off in the 12-round super middleweight bout, at Nurnberger Versicherung Arena in Nuremburg, Germany.
The Smith vs. Holzken card, starting at 2 p.m. ET, will air live in Canada, exclusively on Super Channel.
Holzken, an undefeated Dutch prospect, replaced two-time world champion Juergen Braehmer, of Germany, who withdrew earlier this week from the WBSS semifinals match due to illness.
The Smith-Holzken winner will advance to the WBSS super middleweight championship final against World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Middleweight World Champion “Sir” George Groves (28-3, KOs), of the United Kingdom, June 2 at The O2 Arena in London, in a battle for the coveted Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Super Channel acquired the exclusive rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.
The 27-year-old Smith, fighting out of the United Kingdom, won a 12-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Erik Skoglund in the WBSS quarterfinals to capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) Diamond super middleweight title.
“I came here to book a place in the final,” Smith said. “I have had a really good camp and I have improved on stuff from the last fight and people will see a better performance from me. People will see that I am good enough to win the tournament. I just want to win, win well, and look good doing it.
“I always knew from the start of the tournament that there was a massive opportunity that George (Groves) would be waiting in the final. But, for now, I am fully focused on Nieky, and then I can talk more about Groves after the fight.”
Holzken, 34, was preparing to fight Dmitri Chudinov in Saturday’s WBSS Super Middleweight Substitute Fight.
“It’s great to be here,” Holzken commented. “My life has been like a rollercoaster the last days. I was preparing to fight Dmitrii Chudnov, and on Monday I got a call that Juergen Braehmer was out. So, this is a lifetime opportunity and I will take the opportunity with both hands, I’m ready!
“Callum is a good fighter and respectful guy, but I am a big believer, and I believe I can get the victory on Saturday. I am going to do my best to beat him and my best to win the whole tournament.”
Five exciting fights on the “Smith-Holzken” card, presented by Sauerland Event, will air exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
TODAY’S WBSS LINE-UP ON SUPER CHANNEL
MAIN EVENT – WBSS SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT SEMIFINALS – 12 ROUNDS
(23-0, 17 KOs), United Kingdom, 167.5 lbs. (76,0 kg)
CO-FEATURE – WBSS SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT SUBSTITUTE FIGHT – 10 ROUNDS
Dmitrii Chudinov (20-2-2, 13 KOs), Russia
Siarhei Khamitski (30-14-3, 14 KOs), Belarus
HEAVYWEIGHTS – 8 ROUNDS
Filip Hrgovic (3-0, 3 KOs), 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Croatia
Sean “Big Sexy” Turner (12-1, 8 KOs), Ireland
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS – 8 ROUNDS
James Kraft (13-0, 9 KOs), Former WBC Youth Light Heavyweight Champion, Germany
Bernard Donfack (23-17-3, 11 KOs), Germany by way of Cameroon
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS – 6 ROUNDS
Leon Bauer (12-0-1, 8 KOs), Germany
Marco Miano (6-5 (2 KOs), Italy
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS – 6 ROUNDS
Tony Kraft (12-0-1, 4 KOs), Germany
Jozsef Racz (7-20-1, 2 KOs), Hungary
(all fights & fighters subject to change)
All WBSS semifinals and championship fights will also be available on Super Channel On Demand.
In addition to all the WBSS quarterfinal and semifinals matches, Super Channel aired major boxing events live in 2017 like Brook vs. Spence Jr., Pacquiao-Horn, Eubank, Jr. vs. Abraham, Lomachenko vs.Marriaga, Crawford vs. Indongo and Smith vs. Williams II.
To watch all the World Boxing Super Series action live, as well as more exciting boxing to come, fight fans in Canada can contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it offers, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month.
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES SEMIFINALS SCHEDULE
January 27, Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia – WBO/WBC Unification
Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), Ukraine
WMDEC12 (115-113, 115-113, 114-114).
Mairis Briedis (23-1, 18 KOs), Latvia
(Usyk retained his WBO title and won the WBC championship)
February 3, Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia – IBF/WBA Unification
Murat “Iron” Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs), Russia
Yunier “The KO Doctor” Dorticos (21-1, 20 KOs), Cuba
(Gassiev retained his IBF title and won WBA championship)
February 17, Manchester, Arena, Manchester, UK – WBA/IBO Unification
“Saint” George Groves (28-3, 20 KOs), United Kingdom
WDEC12 (117-112, 116-112, 115-113)
Chris “Next Gen” Eubank Jr. (26-2, 20 KOs), IBO World Champion, United Kingdom
(Groves retained his WBA title and won IBO championship)
February 24, Nurnberger Versicherung Arena, Nuremburg, Germany
Callum “Mundo” Smith (23-0, 17 KOs), United Kingdom – Ring #3
(WBC Diamond Super Middleweight Champion)
Nieky “The Natural” Holzken (13-0, 10 KOs), Netherlands
WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
May 11, 2018, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – WBC/WBC/WBA/IBF/Ring Unification
Oleksandr “The Cat” Usyk (14-0, 11 KOs), WBO/WBC Champion, Ukraine – Ring #1
Murat “Iron” Gassiev (26-0, 19 KOs), WBA/IBF Champion, Russia – Ring #2
June 2, 2018, The O2 Arena, London, United Kingdom – WBA/IBO Unification
“Saint” George Groves (28-3, 20 KOs), United Kingdom, WBA/IBO Champion – Ring #2