Former GLORY champion and undefeated boxer Nieky Holzken will step in for Jürgen Brähmer against Callum Smith at the World Boxing Super Series event on Saturday, Feb. 24, from the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung in Nuremberg, Germany.
The previously scheduled super middleweight tournament semifinal between Smith and Brähmer fell apart when it was reported on Tuesday that Brähmer pulled out of the fight due to an illness. The 27-year-old Englishman is undefeated with 23 wins and 17 knockouts. Holzken, 34, will take on his toughest opponent to date after racking up 13 victories and 10 stoppages during his five-year pro boxing career.
Holzken was scheduled to meet Russia’s Dmitrii Chudinov as a tournament alternate. Now, Holzken has an opportunity to win a world title should he get past Smith, who is a heavy favorite leading into the contest. Smith is listed as much as a 100-to-1 favorite and averaging out to around 50-to-1 on most books with Holzken closer to a 15-to-1 underdog. However, Holzken seems ready for the surprising opportunity.
“I’ve been waiting for this chance to come,” said Holzken. “I signed up as a substitute fighter so I’m in great shape and prepared for Saturday. I’ve watched Callum fight many times. I study everyone in my weight division. He’s a good, solid fighter. We’re both big body punchers. It will make for an excellent fight.”