Nieky Holzken was kept on standby by the World Boxing Super Series should the worst happen and as it can happen in boxing, last-minute illness has felled one of the tournament’s fighters.
Previously scheduled opponent Braehmer pulled out due to illness.
The WBSS literally only released their pre-fight documentary for the fight yesterday, so this must have really come as a kick in proverbial stones.
It certainly has to fight fans. But the show must go on, as they say.
So who is Nieky Holzken exactly?
Well, first off if you read the 34-year-old (13-0-10KO) fighter from Holland’s Twitter bio – he cites himself as a kick boxer first:
He’s campaigned in his native Holland for nearly all of his professional boxing bouts.
All except one in Germany in 2015.
He stands at just under a shade under fix feet tall which will give Smith a three-inch height advantage and a small reach advantage.
No real names of note stand out on his resume. Making him largely an unknown quantity to everyone going into this weekend.
Callum Smith and trainer Joe Gallagher will now be forced to try to prepare a game plan on short notice for a fighter there is little information out there about (boxing-wise).
Likely, Smith will go in for an early knockout with the power he possess in both hands.
But it would be more wise perhaps to stand-off Holzken just for the first one or two rounds at least.
Just to take a look at him first and see what’s what, and who’s who.
Here is Holzken in action in one of his kickboxing matches in Glory: