Author: Daxx Khan

Holzken replaces Braehmer as Smith’s Ali Trophy opponent

Undefeated Dutch super middleweight Nieky Holzken replaces Juergen Braehmer as Callum Smith’s Ali Trophy opponent after the German veteran was forced to withdraw from Saturday’s semi-final showdown in Nuremberg.

Braehmer has been suffering from influenza and yesterday revealed he would be unable to compete against Smith at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung.

“I have been battling a feverish infection since Sunday,” said Braehmer. “Unfortunately, a fight in this state is out of the question. It is not possible for me to go into the ring like this and I would like to apologise to my fans. I was well prepared and looking forward to fighting Callum.”

The World Boxing Super Series’ format meant Holzken was already on standby as a reserve, and as the tournament’s Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland explains he will now have the opportunity to earn a place opposite WBA & IBO World Champion George Groves in the final.

“It is unfortunate for Braehmer particularly after such as strong showing in his quarter-final fight with Rob Brant,” said Kalle Sauerland. “Fortunately, we are prepared for such eventualities and the tournament will move forward with our reserve fighter Nieky Holzken facing Callum Smith in our fourth semi-final.”

Holzken, who had been preparing to face Russia’s Dmitrii Chudinov, insists he is ready to gatecrash the World Boxing Super Series party, and the fighter from Helmond, Holland has already issued some words of warning for his new opponent Smith.

“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.”

“Callum, you better be ready, because I am, and I’m coming to beat you!”

WBC Diamond Champion Callum Smith and his trainer Joe Gallagher have spent the last months preparing for veteran southpaw Braehmer, but the tournament’s 2nd seeded super middleweight must now switch his focus to this new challenge.

“I gave an interview last week and said it’s great there have been no drop-outs,” said Smith. “Looks like I spoke too soon.”

“We got the call as we were boarding the plane. I am committed to fighting on Saturday and will fight whoever the World Boxing Super Series puts in front of me.”

Smith: I am expecting a tough night in Nuremberg

Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs) is expecting the best version of Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) before their Ali Trophy semi-final clash in the super middleweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series February 24 at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung.

Callum Smith prepares for his bout against Juergen Braehmer Photo- WBSS

“I have had a good training camp,” said Smith. “I have improved over the sparring sessions, now it’s all about the getting the tactics right and perform on the night and I should come out on top.”

Both 27-year-old Smith and 39-year-old Braehmer appeared as serious contenders to win the Muhammad Trophy with their quarter-final performances last year.

Britain’s Smith claimed a 116-112, 117-110, 117-111 victory on the judges’ cards after a thrilling match against Sweden’s Erik Skoglund at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Germany’s Braehmer, a former two-time light heavyweight champion, proved age is just a number when he beat American hope Rob Brant in dominant fashion at the Kongresshalle in Schwerin with the judges scoring it 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 in favour of the 39-year-old veteran.

“Braehmer looked good against Brant,” said Smith. “He is a good fighter, he is experienced. He has been there and done it, a former two-time world champion. He is an awkward fighter and he knows he is awkward and he uses it to his own advantage.”

“I have to concentrate on me. If I do what I do good, I will be too good for Braehmer on the night. I am expecting a good fight, I am expecting the best version of Juergen Braehmer, but we have everything covered to make sure I will proceed to the final.”

“It’s a big opportunity for Braehmer nearing the end of his career. What better way to finish than winning this tournament. But I feel that whatever he brings I got the answer for it. I know that I am capable of coming through and look good doing it.”

WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES FIXTURES

27/01/2018 Cruiserweight Semi-Final: 

Aleksandr Usyk vs. Mairis Briedis (WBO World & WBC World) – Usyk won MD

Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia

03/02/18 Cruiserweight Semi-Final: 

Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos (IBF World & WBA World) – Gassiev won TKO12

Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia​

17/02/18 Super Middleweight Semi-Final:

George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr (WBA Super World & IBO World) – Groves won UD

Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK

24/02/18 Super Middleweight Semi-Final:

Callum Smith vs. Juergen Braehmer (WBC Diamond Belt)

Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg, Germany

Groves injury update: I’m a fast healer

The WBA super-middleweight champion was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital moments after his unanimous points win over Chris Eubank Jr.

The 29-year-old was practically fighting with just one arm for the last couple of minutes of the Ali Trophy semi-final at the Manchester Arena.

After attempting to throw a left jab, it became clear that his shoulder had popped out of place.

“The left shoulder just popped out in the 12th round,” said Groves. “The medical advice was to go straight to the A&E and have a look. They gave me a few X-rays and put it back in. I will get a few more scans and see a specialist and I we will look to see what the recovery time is. I have no pain now, I’m sure that is a good sign.”

The Ali Trophy super-middleweight finalist feels confident the injury will not affect his preparations for the final.

“I’m a fast healer. I broke my jaw in May and I was back training soon after. I have fought two times since then. I keep myself in shape, I live a clean life and it all aids to recovery time. The final is fast approaching and that is exciting for me so my body will re-heal fast. I’m in a confident frame of mind,” said Groves with a smile the day after Saturday’s dramatic fight.

“I was levels above Eubank in terms of boxing ability. Junior just felt short.”

Watch the full Groves vs Eubank Jr – The Day After documentary here.

Focused Oliveira Jr. prepared for fight of his life

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Feb. 19th, 2018) — It’s not so much the fact Ray Oliveira Jr. is headlining a fight card for the first time in his career that has him a little more amped up than usual for Friday night’s event at Twin River Casino. It’s the fact he’s bringing his hometown with him.

The 27-year-old Oliveira Jr. (9-1, 1 KO) is one of three fighters from New Bedford, Mass., appearing on Friday’s 2018 season opener for CES Boxing, joining welterweight Wilson Mascarenhas and featherweight Efren Nunez.

In his 11th professional bout — all under the promotional guidance of CES Boxing — Oliveira Jr. stars in the main event against well-known New Haven, Conn., veteran Edwin Soto (11-2-2, 4 KOs), in an eight-round bout.

The vast majority of New England’s most accomplished fighters have had opportunities to headline major events, some sooner, and more often, than others. Oliveira Jr. began his climb from the bottom rung, earning his keep in four-round bouts at the beginning of the night, long before the venue is even half full. On Friday night, he’ll be the last of 20 fighters to enter the ring with a capacity crowd at its fever pitch anxiously awaiting his arrival, a feeling some never get to experience.

“I put in the work, I fought whoever was in front of me and I never made a fuss about where I was on the card,” Oliveira Jr. said. “It made no difference to me. I was putting in my work and putting in my time. That means a lot now that I’m up there. I worked hard for this and now I’ve got it. That’s the thing for me.”

The vast majority of New England’s most accomplished fighters have had opportunities to headline major events, some sooner, and more often, than others. Oliveira Jr. began his climb from the bottom rung, earning his keep in four-round bouts at the beginning of the night, long before the venue is even half full. On Friday night, he’ll be the last of 20 fighters to enter the ring with a capacity crowd at its fever pitch anxiously awaiting his arrival, a feeling some never get to experience.

“I put in the work, I fought whoever was in front of me and I never made a fuss about where I was on the card,” Oliveira Jr. said. “It made no difference to me. I was putting in my work and putting in my time. That means a lot now that I’m up there. I worked hard for this and now I’ve got it. That’s the thing for me.”

Oliveira Jr.’s work ethic in the ring mirrors the energy and passion he pours into all projects in life. The New Bedford native recently opened his own gym in nearby Taunton, the Glove Dynasty Boxing Club, where he’ll train clients and work with young amateurs as a newly-certified USA Boxing coach. He signed the lease on New Year’s Day and doors opened Feb. 9. The gym is just his first step toward one day owning his own worldwide training facility, a potential melting pot of professional athletes from all corners of the globe.

Among the classes Oliveira Jr. teaches at Glove Dynasty is his Weekend Warrior program on Saturday mornings, focusing primarily on strength and explosiveness. The idea is to implement minor elements of boxing into each session. For example, clients practice a “squat uppercut” so they can get the effects of a traditional squat while learning the science of a deadly uppercut. He teaches various fitness boxing classes as well, though he acknowledges, “anyone who knows boxing knows if you’re training for boxing, that’s all the fitness you need right there.”

His approach to conditioning falls in line with his ultimate goal of transforming Glove Dynasty into more of a boxing club than a traditional gym and working with young area fighters who’ll eventually compete on the amateur circuit. He encourages his pupils to study the sport and understand what it takes to be a professional, including occasional film study. A local couple recently donated a collection of old VHS tapes featuring classic fights and instructional videos, which he’ll convert into DVDs so his fighters can watch and learn from the some of the best to ever lace up the gloves.

“Some of the fights on these VHSs were before I was even thought of,” he said. “They’ve got some of my dad [“Sucra” Ray Oliveira], they’ve got some of Jon Scully on there and then they’ve got some way before that. They’ve got some old Pernell Whitaker ones. It goes and goes.”

Though he’s currently the only certified trainer at Glove Dynasty, others in the boxing community come through frequently to either get in a good workout or help with the younger fighters, including Taunton’s Marqus Bates, who also fights on Friday’s undercard.

“I have a lot of friends in the boxing community, so there are a lot of trainers who stop by,” Oliveira Jr. said. “Being that I’m in this sport as a pro athlete, I have some insight that I can give to the amateur fighters on the etiquette of being a pro and what it takes and what kind of personal sacrifices come with being a fighter.”

Oliveira Jr. is no stranger to those sacrifices. Now that the gym is finally open, he will return to school later this year to continue his studies at Bristol Community College so he can eventually transfer to Bridgewater State University and pursue a master’s degree in sports facility management. The process of finalizing his paperwork for the gym and preparing to fight three times in 2017 briefly interrupted his schoolwork.

And if he didn’t have enough on his plate already, he’s now less than a week away from what figures to be the toughest fight of his life. The 27-year-old Soto has been a fixture on the regional circuit since debuting professional in 2009. Friday will be Soto’s 10th appearance with CES Boxing and first since October of 2013.

“He comes to fight,” Oliveira Jr. said. “I’ve seen a couple of his videos. I haven’t seen much. But from what I’ve seen he definitely isn’t a fighter who uses the ring as much as some other fighters I’ve been in there with, so it looks like I’m going to be in for a fight. It’s not going to like I hit a guy and he runs away. He’s actually going to try to throw some tough ones and take some tough ones.

“He looks like he’s willing to take a shot to give a shot, toe-to-toe kind of kid. I’m actually looking forward to fighting him. Every time these guys say they want to go to war, I don’t see it in their styles so much. This guy, I can see it more. There are going to be some big exchanges where people will be off their seats.”

Starring as the main event Friday night is the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice, and a few roadblocks along the way. Oliveira Jr. admits he made mistakes in the past, missing weight a couple of times, but he learned from it, tightened up his diet and conditioning, and now routinely clocks in under the maximum weight.

The best part, for him, is now he gets to be the last one to enter the ring Friday while representing the city of New Bedford.

“It’s not enough for me to be a main event. That wouldn’t have been it for me. The icing on the cake is I’ve got the New Bedford kids with me,” he said. “it means a lot to me be able to headline as a New Bedford fighter representing other New Bedford fighters who made their way onto the card. It gives me that sense of satisfaction of something I’ve always wanted to do, to represent my city and be strong for New Bedford.”

The Feb. 23rd card also features the return of longtime fan-favorite “Mr. Providence” Vladine Biosse (15-7-3, 7 KOs), who fights for the first time in a year and a half when he faces Atlantic City, N.J., super middleweight Antowyan Aikens(11-4-1, 1 KO) in a six-round special attraction. Hard-hitting Sicilian heavyweight Juiseppe Cusumano (13-1, 11 KOs) stars in the six-round co-feature in his toughest test to date against Pittsburgh’s Fred Latham (9-1-2, 5 KOs).

A former standout defensive back for the University of Rhode Island football team, Biosse last fought in May of 2016 when he battled Rhode Island icon Peter Manfredo Jr. to a draw. Feb. 23rd will be his unprecedented 16th appearance at Twin River.

Undefeated prospect Jamaine Ortiz (7-0, 4 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., faces Laredo, Tex., veteran Victor Rosas (9-7, 3 KOs) in a six-round lightweight bout and junior welterweight Anthony Marsella Jr. (7-0, 4 KOs) of Providence returns for his seventh consecutive fight at Twin River in a six-round bout against Cancun, Mexico native Israel Villela (6-8, 2 KOs).

Regional rivalries highlight the preliminary card, starting with Johnston, R.I., junior welterweight Nicky DeQuattro (2-0, 1 KO) making his Twin River debut in a four-round bout against Carlos Galindo (0-0) of Lima, Peru. Providence lightweight Michael Valentin (3-0, 1 KO) puts his unbeaten record on the line against Demetrius Wilson (2-4) of St. Louis, Mo., and Springfield, Mass., welterweight Miguel Ortiz (2-1, 1 KO) faces Mascarenhas of New Bedford, both in four-round bouts. Providence featherweight Ricky Delossantos (3-0) aims for his fourth consecutive win in a four-round bout against New Bedford’s Nunez (0-1). Bates (2-2, 2 KOs) battles welterweight Latorie Woodberry (1-5) of Roanoke, Va., in a four-round bout.

The entire fight card is dedicated to the memory of super bantamweight Luis Rosa Jr. of New Haven, the son of Luis and Marilyn Rosa, who passed away tragically on Jan. 14th. Rosa Jr. will be inducted into the CES Ring of Honor.

‘Great Lakes King’ Ja’Rico O’Quinn to Face Kenya’s Nick Otieno This Friday in Warren, Michigan

2018 is shaping up to be an important year in the budding boxing career of undefeated Detroit-based bantamweight Ja’Rico “The Great Lakes King” O’Quinn.

“I’m looking to make my TV debut this year,” said O’Quinn, finishing up training for Friday’s fight. “From there, the sky is the limit. When I get on TV, I’m going to looks so good I’ll become an attraction that people want to see again and again.”

This Friday, February 23, on a show called “WAR IN WARREN,” at DeCarlo’s Banquet and Convention Center in Warren, Michigan, O’Quinn (7-0-1, 5 KOs) will kick off the year by facing Kenyan veteran Nick “Kanyankole” Otieno (31-12, 13 KOs) in a six-round showcase.

“Training went well,” he continued. “I’m putting the finishing touches on camp and making sure my weight is good. I know Otieno is a tough veteran who’s not coming to lay down. He’ll put up a good fight and I’m pretty sure he’s got some veteran tactics he’ll try to use in there. I’ll use my youth and skills to come out on top.”

A former number-one ranked national amateur champion, O’Quinn turned professional in 2015 and soon signed with the ever-growing promotional stable of Dmitriy Salita. Flashy and quick-fisted with good power, O’Quinn’s popularity with hometown fans seems to grow with every impressive performance.

“It’s a great feeling. I get a lot of love in Detroit. They chant my name. The crowd loves it. If you can make it out of Detroit, you can make it out of anywhere.”

O’Quinn says he won’t predict what will specifically happen against Otieno, only that he will continue to build his name.

“If it goes the distance, I see myself being dominant and showcasing my talents and skills for all six rounds. If it doesn’t go the distance, I’ll show them what I can do for a while and then get him out of there.”

1st USA Boxing Alumni Association Event in N.E.: Former USA boxers to hold private meet-and -greet at New England Tournament of Champions Open Division Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 19, 2018) – USA Boxing will host a private USA Boxing Alumni Association meet-and-greet this Thursday night (Feb. 22), prior to that evening’s open division finals of the New England Tournament of Champions, part of the 72nd annual New England Golden Gloves Championships, at historic Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts.

The Feb. 22nd USA Boxing Alumni Association also being held, in part, to promote the 2018 USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour, which kicks-off Monday, March 12, at the newly renovated Royale Entertainment Complex in Boston’s famed theater district. The USA vs. Ireland Northeast Boxing Tour will continue March 15 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. and concludes March 21 at The Manchester Downtown Hotel in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Many of New England’s all-time great amateur boxers will participate, including hometown hero and three-time New England champion, “Irish” Micky Ward. Others include Jose Antonio RiveraJohn ScullyRichie LaMontagne, Dave SullivanTravis and Tarvis SimmsBobby Harris, Peter Manfredo, Jr., Joe AllojLawrence Clay-Bey and Troy Wortham.

All USA Boxing Alumni Association members, as well as any prospective members, are welcome to attend this unique meet-and-greet, starting when doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET, until the first bout at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Ticket prices start at $18.00, only $7.00 for students (ID required) and are available to purchase by calling the Lowell Memorial Auditorium box office at 1.866.722.8881 or ordering online at www.lowellauditorium.com.

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including Friday evening’s USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

To join the Alumni Association, simply register at alumni@usaboxing,.org for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.

Beltran Claims Long Awaited World Title in exciting bout

Friday February 16th 2018 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Grand Theatre in Reno, Nevada veterans Ray Beltran and Paulus Moses faced off on a Top Rank promoted event for the vacant WBO World Lightweight Title. With a combined age of 75 yrs between them many questioned the level of action that would take place and legitimacy of this fight being for a world title. Once the bell rang 39 year old Paulus Moses a former WBA lightweight champion and 36 year old Ray Beltran the former multi-time world title contender showed they were still world caliber fighters.

In the early rounds Beltran set the pace working Moses body hoping it would pay dividends in later rounds, Moses would be more conservative with his punches but they seemed more damaging swelling and opening a cut around Beltran’s left eye. We would see strong starts from both men in round four with each fighter having equal moments of success, it would be Beltran who finished the round stronger. The fifth round would be all Ray Beltran as he pressed the pace and stunned Moses who did have some success landing inside uppercuts. As the round closed Moses found a home for his right hand and  was now cut along side his right eye.

The sixth and seventh rounds were clearly in favor of Moses, as the blood from an early cut suffered by Beltran became an issue it allowed Moses to land clean hard right hands that drove Beltran back limiting him to using his jab. We would see some of Beltran’s underrated boxing ability in round eight as he mixed his attack sending Moses to the corner breathing hard, in the ninth Moses stunned Beltran who came back and finished the round strong.

The championship rounds is where we seen some lulls in action as both men were showing understandable fatigue due to a high volume ten rounds.We seen the early body work from Beltran pay dividends, as Moses at times was stationary Beltran landed combinations that were occasional met with a Moses counter right hand. Once the final round began with both fighters knowing what was at stake, they gave everything left in their tanks it would be a more active Ray Beltran but a more accurate harder hitting Paules Moses.

At the finish my score unofficially read 115-112 in favor of Ray Beltran while official scores read 116-112 from Eric Cheek and 117-111 twice from Judges Burt A. Clements and Don Trella. The scores of Clements and Trella as usual were far too wide but the right man won. It was without question a world championship quality fight and performance by both men. With his long sought after world title Ray Beltran improved to 35-7-1 (21) Paulus Moses now stands at 40-4 (25).

In the co-feature welterweights Egidijus “The Machine” Kavaliauskas and David “Ava” Avanesyan faced off for Kavaliauskas NABF Welterweight title. The bout would start slow as both men looked to see what the other was bringing into the fight power and style wise. In the second and third rounds Kavaliauskas kept Avanesyan at a distance by using his jab in rapid succession.

The fourth and fifth rounds were in favor of Avanesyan who had found a  way past the jab of Kavaliauskas and worked the undefeated prospects body. In round six Avanesyan still in control would be caught with a counter hook from Kavaliauskas and driven to the ropes. A few second later after being caught with a flurry or clean power punches, referee Tony Weeks would need to jump in and save Avanesyan from further punishment. With the win Egidijus Kavaliauskas improved to 19-0 (16), David Avanesyan now stands at 23-3-1 (11).

In Undercard action

Featherweight- Shakur Stevenson 5-0 (2) def. Jonny Tapia 8-2 (3) via UD 8.

Heavyweight- Bryant Jennings 22-2 (13) def. Akhror Muralimov 16-4 (13) via TKO 3.

Muralimov down twice in round one, once in round two and twice in the third round. Fight waved off by referee Jay Nady.

Lightweight -Robson Conceicao 6-0 (4) def. Ignacio Holguin 5-1-1 (5) via UD 6.

Conceicao the 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist for Brazil scored a first round knockdown.

Super Welterweight- Sagadat Rakhmankulov 1-0 (1) def. Noel Esqueda 8-5-2 (6) via TKO 5.

Super featherweight Ricardo Lucio Galvin 2-0 (2) def. Galvan Kenny Guzman 4-12(1) via TKO 3.

‘Argentinean Lomachenko’ Alberto Melian to Fight for First Professional Title in Second Fight

On Saturday, March 17, the “Argentinean Lomachenko,” two-time Olympian Alberto “Impacto” Melian, will challenge for his first professional title in only his second professional fight.
 
Fighting in his hometown of Villa Dolores, Cordoba, Argentina, Melian (1-0, 1 KO) will take on Argentine Super Bantamweight Champion Javier Aristule (32-8, 16 KOs) over 10 rounds.
 
The event, presented by Sampson Boxing in partnership with Tello Box and JEB Boxing, and entitled “Night of the Olympians,” will also feature promising former Olympian Alberto “Beto” Palmetta (6-1, 2 KOs) and will be televised live on TyC Sports and VTV Uruguay (available in HD) for all of Latin America, The United States and the Caribbean.
 
Considered by several experts as the best Argentine amateur boxer of the last decade, Melian represented Argentina in numerous international tournaments, including his double Olympic participation, at the Olympic Games in London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
 
After knocking out the former world title contender Diego Ricardo Santillan in the fifth round in his debut (who entered the ring at 23-2), Melian received the challenge of Aristule, who was present at ringside. Melian accepted the challenge, but asked Aristule to put his national title on the line.
 
Among Melian’s outstanding amateur victories were wins over Cuban Olympic champion Robeisy Ramirez and Frenchman Khedafi Djelkhir, Olympic silver medalist in Beijing 2008 and APB Series World champion. In 2014, he was awarded the “Firpo de Oro” as the best boxer in the country, amateur or professional, by the Boxing´s Journalist Union of Argentina (UPERBOX).
 
Palmetta, former captain of the Argentinean Olympic team that participated in the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro 2016, will return to the ring after suffered his first defeat as a professional in a fight that had dominated on the cards against Gonzalo Coria.

Callum Smith’s prediction: Groves on points after a few rocky moments

Callum Smith believes he will face George Groves in the final for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

“Groves-Eubank is a good fight, a very good one. The winner will become an even bigger name after the weekend,” said Smith.

Smith is fully focused on his semi-final against Germany’s Juergen Braehmer next weekend at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung in Nuremberg.

But he is keeping an eye on Saturday’s event in Manchester.

“I have been following the build-up a bit and I will watch the fight at home. One of them will be my opponent in the final and as a boxing fan, it’s a good fight. I am fully concentrated on my own fight, but I will watch this one on the telly.“

“They both have strength and weaknesses at different points. Groves has got the jab, the boxing brain and the size on his side. I think his weakness is his stamina issues whereas Eubank’s strength is his stamina. Eubanks weakness might be his boxing ability at distance, where I feel Groves is the better man.”

“If would have to pick, I will pick Groves on points. I believe he will win the early rounds, a few rocky moments later on, but in the end, he will win on points,” said Smith before talking about his upcoming challenge:

“I am very confident that I will beat Juergen Braehmer next Saturday in Nuremberg. And I am confident that I will beat the winner of this weekend’s semi-final. I entered this tournament to win it.”

WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES FIXTURES

27/01/2018 Cruiserweight Semi-Final: 

Aleksandr Usyk vs. Mairis Briedis (WBO World & WBC World) – Usyk won MD

Riga Arena, Riga, Latvia

03/02/18 Cruiserweight Semi-Final: 

Murat Gassiev vs. Yunier Dorticos (IBF World & WBA World) – Gassiev won TKO12

Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi, Russia​

17/02/18 Super Middleweight Semi-Final:

George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr (WBA Super World & IBO World)

Manchester Arena, Manchester, UK

24/02/18 Super Middleweight Semi-Final:

Callum Smith vs. Juergen Braehmer (WBC Diamond Belt)

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