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Callum Smith not looking past Nieky Holzken

Callum Smith says he’s not looking at George Groves yet, with business to handle first.

Callum Smith v Erik Skoglund: Super Middleweight Quarter-Final - World Boxing Super Series Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Callum Smith has a short-notice replacement opponent in the World Boxing Super Series semifinal this Saturday, as he’ll be facing former kickboxing champion Nieky Holzken instead of veteran Juergen Braehmer, but Smith says he’s not looking ahead yet to a fight with George Groves in the final — though he admits it’s obviously potentially huge fight.

“On paper, I have an easier semifinal than Eubank and Groves, they are both good fighters, but I thought I had a tougher quarterfinal than both of them. I’ve not been thinking about who I fight in the final, I’ve been focusing on my semifinal. I’ve always taken one fight at a time.

”I would be very foolish to look past my semifinal with what’s at stake, me against Groves is a massive fight and that’s great motivation for me.”

Smith (23-0, 17 KO) defeated Erik Skoglund in the first round of the tournament last September, and was favored against Braehmer, even though he was going on the road to Germany.

Against Holzken (13-0, 10 KO), he’s a big favorite, facing someone who is really a novice professional boxer, though still potentially dangerous. Holzken has power, and if he can storm Smith early, maybe he has a chance, but he’s never faced anyone near this level in a boxing ring, either.

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