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21 OCTOBER 2018

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Smith Books His place Against Groves In Super Middleweight Final

Smith has his hand raised against Holzken
Smith has his hand raised against Holzken

Callum Smith booked his place in the Ali Trophy Super Middleweight Final by comprehensively out-pointing late replacement Nieky Holzken over 12 rounds in Nuremberg, Germany on Saturday night. Smith, who improved his unbeaten record to 23-0-(17), will now face fellow Briton and WBA super middleweight titleholder George Groves in the final on June 2.


Smith used his range and height, and utilised his jab well to pierce Holzken’s guard pretty much throughout the fight to build up the points early on but Holzken did find the target on occasion. Smith game plan was to box and not get too involved up close which seemed to be the perfect game plan. Holzken’s best spell of the fight came in the last two rounds where he stepped up the pace and scored with a massive uppercut that seemed to stun the British fighter momentarily.


Holzken rallied franticly late on but it was too little too late and Smith was judged the winner on all three judges scorecards, 118-110 and 117-111 twice.


The Liverpudlian was due to fight German veteran Jurgen Braehmer but he was forced to pull out early in the week due to illness.


Speaking after the fight Smith said: “I’m looking forward to the final. Groves is the one everyone wants to beat. He’s the number one seed and it’s the fight I wanted.


Said Holzken, who showcased a big fighting heart, over the 12 rounds. “I thought it would be tougher, but he did a good job behind the jab. Congratulations to him, but I will be back!”


George Groves faced off with Smith immediately after Smith’s win.


“I’ve had two great wins, this is the fight people want to see. I need to get in the ring and win the trophy,” said Groves. “It’s exciting to see your opponent fight live – I can’t wait to get back into the gym. It will be an explosive final. I don’t expect it to go the distance – I’m confident, of course.”


On the undercard former WBA interim champ Dmitrii Chudinov, 21-2-2-(13), scored a an eight round points win over Siarhei Khamitski, 30-15-3-(14). The scores were 78-73 on all three judges cards.


In a heavyweight bout Olympic Bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic improved to 4-0-(3), by out-pointing Sean “Big Sexy” Turner over eight rounds by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73.


At super middleweight Leon Bauer, 13-0-1-(8) outpointed Marco Miano over six rounds.



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