JUERGEN BRAEHMER has been forced to pull out of Saturday’s World Boxing Super Series semi-final with clash with Callum Smith.

Smith was due to fight Braehmer on February 24 in Nuremberg but has withdrawn, reportedly due to a virus. Braehmer, a former light-heavyweight world champion, had booked this date with Smith after beating Rob Brant in their quarter-final. Smith had overcome a stubborn Eric Skoglund to advance.

A reserve will come in, in fact in the unlikely form of Nieky Holzken. The Dutchman has 13-0 (10) record as a pro boxer and was due to fight Dmitrii Chudinov on the undercard in Nuremburg. He is also a successful kickboxer and has been plying his trade in the high profile Glory tournament, where he has been winless in his last three since beating Murthel Groenhart in 2016. Holkzen, 34 years old, has had over 100 kickboxing bouts in his career.

Smith was an elite boxer on the GB squad and has impressed during his pro career, winning the British and European super-middleweight titles.

Callum Smith

The other side of the super-middleweight World Boxing Super Series tournament has also been affected by injury. George Groves defeated Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday to book his place in the final, which has provisionally been scheduled for June 2. But Groves dislocated his shoulder in the final round and will have to see how he recovers from the injury.