World Boxing Super Series: Callum Smith joins George Groves in final

Callum Smith
Callum Smith is ranked by The Ring magazine as the world's third best active super-middleweight

Callum Smith set up a World Boxing Series super-middleweight final against George Groves with a unanimous points win over Nieky Holzken in Nuremberg.

Holzken, who was only handed the fight on Tuesday when Jurgen Brahmer withdrew with illness, fought gamely.

But Smith, who began the fight 1-100 with some bookmakers, will now have the chance to win the world title.

Fellow Briton Groves was at ringside as he recovers from a shoulder injury he sustained in beating Chris Eubank Jr.

The judges scored Saturday's fight 118-110, 117-111 and 117-111 in Smith's favour.

Holzken, 34, had won each of his 13 professional fights and is a former Muay Thai kickboxer.

Smith dominated the early rounds without causing the Dutchman too much trouble, while Holzken drew blood from the Englishman's nose with a shot in the third round.

Holzken had Smith on the ropes in round five with an aggressive flurry of shots, and also landed a heavy right hand at the end of the seventh.

But Smith was landing three times as many punches, and a crunching right uppercut in round 11 rocked Holzken.

"There was a lot of pressure on me. People said I would wipe him out early and it plays on your mind," Smith said.

"It was an OK performance, not the best. He was awkward, a novice. I couldn't predict where his shots were coming from. It was safety first. I boxed smart and booked my place in the final."

Will Groves be fit for the final?

Groves suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder in the win over Eubank Jr last weekend, which put his place in the WBBS final in doubt.

He had said the date, set for 2 June, might have to be changed for him to recover for a final that "wouldn't be the same" without him.

He told ITV Box Office on Saturday: "I'm feeling very good. I've had MRI scans, we'll have follow-up appointments next week.

"I'm a fast healer, I have a great medical team and I'm willing to put my body on the line and do the rehab.

"I cannot wait to get back in the gym and prepare. It will be an explosive final, I don't expect it to go the distance, I'm confident of the win."

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