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Smith beats Holzken to set up Groves bout

Credit: PA

Callum Smith will square off against George Groves in an all-English World Boxing Super Series super middleweight final after a points win over Nieky Holzken.

Smith had been due to take on Juergen Braehmer in the semi-final in Nuremburg but the German withdrew through illness.

Holzken, 34, had won each of his 13 professional fights, but Smith took the win after a unanimous decision 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111.

Smith, 27, said he was disappointed he did not get to fight Braehmer - but added getting to the final was the main aim.

He said: "Did I underestimate him? Yeah, probably a little bit, but I said in the week the main job was to win and book my place into the final and I did that.

"It was a potential banana skin and it was about not slipping up and just boxing and sticking to the basics.

"The most important thing is I'm in the final."

Speaking after the bout, Holzken said: "I thought it would have been heavier, but he did a good job with his jab but I think I hit him the most with the power shots.

"You don't see him fight backwards a lot, normally he is the dominator. Today I was the dominator."

The super-middleweight competition's final is scheduled for London's O2 Arena in June with Groves suffering a shoulder injury in last Saturday's high-profile defeat of Chris Eubank Jnr.


Groves Eubank Jr fight will take place in Manchester

The fight will go ahead in Manchester as opposed to London. Credit: PA

George Groves' WBA super-middleweight title defence against Chris Eubank Jr will take place at the Manchester Arena in February with an exact date to be confirmed.

The champion, from London, had hoped their highly-anticipated World Boxing Super Series semi-final would take place in the capital, potentially at one of its football stadiums.

The series' promoters have now said he will instead return to the Manchester Arena for the first time since one of his finest performances in his first fight with Carl Froch, in 2013, when he dropped the then-defending champion and outboxed him before the controversial late stoppage.

Brighton's Eubank Jr faces his most dangerous fight to date, but like Groves - who made the first defence of his title by stopping Jamie Cox in four rounds at Wembley Arena last month - impressed during the competition's quarter-final stage.

The 28-year-old travelled to Germany, where he defeated Avni Yildirim of Turkey via knockout in the third round, and will fight for a recognised world title for the first time.

A mutual rival of Eubank Jnr and the 29-year-old Groves, IBF champion James DeGale, returns to the ring against America's Caleb Truax on December 9 and has spoken of his desire to fight the WBSS' overall winner.

Fellow Briton Callum Smith is scheduled to fight Germany's Jurgen Braehmer in the other semi-final, on a date and location that is still to be confirmed.

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