The last of the four semifinal bouts in the two World Boxing Super Series tournaments has been scheduled.
The super middleweight tournament semifinal between England’s Callum Smith and Germany’s Juergen Braehmer will take place Feb. 24 at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung in Nuremburg, Germany, organizers announced Friday.
“Smith vs. Braehmer — England vs. Germany — it’s a classic anyway, but this one pits youth vs. experience. Smith is eager to show the world he is the best while Braehmer is entering the last chance saloon,” promoter Kalle Sauerland, the chief boxing officer of tournament organizer Comosa AG, said in a news release. “The outcome is unpredictable. It’s going to be a thrilling night in Germany and a fitting event for the last of our semifinal fixtures.”
Smith (23-0, 17 KOs), 27, who gave up a mandatory world title position to enter the eight-man tournament, comfortably outpointed Erik Skoglund 117-111, 117-110 and 116-112 in their quarterfinal bout on Sept. 16 in Smith’s hometown of Liverpool. Now Smith is going on the road for the first time in his career.
“I believe I will beat Juergen Braehmer anywhere in the world and it is a nice away trip for my fans,” Smith said in the news release. “I am the better man, the younger, fresher man, and I believe I will do what needs to be done to get to the final.”
Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs), 39, is a former light heavyweight world titleholder who moved down in weight to enter the tournament. He easily outpointed Rob Brant, a middleweight who moved up to enter, in their Oct. 27 quarterfinal fight in Schwerin, Germany. Braehmer, fighting in his hometown, outpointed Brant 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112.
“I am looking forward to the fight,” Braehmer said. “Callum is a good fighter, but I feel confident that I will win this fight. I am in this tournament because I strongly believe I have the ability to win it. Next step towards my goal is a victory in Nuremberg.”
The cruiserweight semifinals begin Jan. 27 in Riga, Latvia, where world titleholder Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs), 30, of Ukraine, will meet Mairis Briedis (23-0, 18 KOs), 32, in his hometown to unify world titles.
The second cruiserweight semifinal will take place Feb. 3 in Sochi, Russia, and will pit world titleholder Murat Gassiev (25-0, 18 KOs), 24, of Russia, against Miami, Florida-based Cuban defector Yunier Dorticos (22-0, 21 KOs), 31.
On Feb. 17, super middleweight world titleholder George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs), 29, will defend his belt against British countryman Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs), 28, in Manchester, England.
The cruiserweight final will take place on a date to be determined in May in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The spring date and location for the super middleweight final is not yet set. The winners of each tournament will be awarded the Muhammad Ali Trophy.