Callum Smith vs Nieky Holzken Preview Feb. 24th
The second super middleweight World Boxing Super Series semifinal takes place this weekend as undefeated Nieky Holzken of Holland takes on unbeaten Callum Smith of England in Nuremberg, Germany. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the UK on ITV Box Office while fans in Canada can catch it live on Super Channel. Smith beat Erik Skoglund by a 12-round unanimous decision in September in his last tournament bout while Holzken last fought on February 3rd and stopped Viktor Polyakov in the second round. The winner of this bout will meet England’s George Groves in the Super Series Final which is scheduled for June. Smith was originally supposed to fight Germany’s Juergen Braehmer, but he pulled out because of illness and Holzken was the tournament’s substitute boxer.
Smith vs Holzken Betting Odds
Here are the betting odds from online sportsbook BetOnline.ag (full review here).
- Nieky Holzken +1100
- Callum Smith -5000
The 27-year-old Smith has a perfect record of 23-0 along with 17 Kos. He’s 6-feet-3-inches tall so is pretty big for the 168 lb division and will have a 3.5-inch height advantage over Braehmer. He also has a 78-inch reach for a 6.5-inch advantage. Smith had a fine amateur career and was once the British welterweight Champion. Since turning pro in 2012 he’s fought 100 rounds and won several regional titles such as the English, British, WBC International, WBC Silver, European, and WBC Diamond Super Middleweight Titles.
But for all the belts, Smith hasn’t faced a Grade A boxer as of yet. He’s beaten the likes of Luke Blackledge, Norbert Nemesapati, Cesar Hernan Reynoso, Rocky Fielding and Christopher Rebrasse etc. Smith has displayed pretty good power up to now with a current knockout ratio of 74 per cent, but his lack of quality opponents may hurt his chances. He won’t necessarily be stepping up in class against Holzken, but he has been training to meet the southpaw Braehmer, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares.
As for the 34-year-old Holzken, he fought just two weeks ago and was training to meet Dmitri Chudinov so he’s in shape and ready to go. He said he’s been waiting for the chance to gatecrash the tournament somehow and he’s going to go after Smith and make the best of his opportunity. Holzken’s a kickboxer and former European Muay Thai Champion who is unbeaten as a pro boxer at 13-0 along with 10 Kos. He turned pro back in 2-013 and has 52 rounds under his belt since then.
Holzken stands just over 5-feet-11-inches tall with a an unlisted reach, so is 3.5 inches shorter than Smith. He appears to have some power in his fists with a current knockout ratio of 77 per cent. As far as his boxing career goes, it’s hard to knock a guy who’s unbeaten in 13 pro fights, but none of his opponents are household names, even in their own households. Therefore, he’s definitely stepping up in class against Smith.
This is a tough fight to call since Holzken’s coming in as a late replacement and not much is known about him as a boxer. Smith has the edge in size, experience and age, but may need a solid chin to take Holzken’s power shots. This should be a relatively close contest with both boxers having their moments. For Holzken to win he probably has to knock Smith out, so I’ll go with the younger and more experienced boxer in Smith.
Smith’s boxing experience should be the difference.
Play: Smith -5000 @ BetOnline.ag
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Callum Smith betting • Nieky Holzken betting