By Rick Reeno
Things took an unexpected turn in the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament, as BoxingScene.com has received confirmation that Juergen Braehmer (49-3, 35 KOs) has withdrawn from Saturday's semi-final bout with Callum Smith (23-0, 17 KOs). The withdrawal was first reported by boxen1.com in Germany.
The event, which is scheduled to takes place at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung in Germany, will still go forward as planned.
Braehmer has been battling a bad illness for several days.
Based on what BoxingScene was advised - Comosa, which is the parent company behind the World Boxing Super Series, is likely going to announce Smith's new opponent later today.
To reach the semi-finals, Smith claimed a 116-112, 117-110, 117-111 decision victory on the judges' cards against Sweden’s Erik Skoglund at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Germany’s Braehmer, 39 years old and moving down from light heavyweight, dominated the much younger Rob Brant in Kongresshalle in Schwerin with the judges scoring it 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 in favor of the former light heavyweight world titleholder.
Last Saturday night, WBA super middleweight champion George Groves secured his place in the finals with a dominant twelve round unanimous decision win over domestic rival Chris Eubank Jr. at the Manchester Arena.
But, the other hiccup in the tournament is pertaining to Groves suffering a bad shoulder injury in the final round of the fight. There is still no clear indication on Groves' ability to fight in the final bout, which at the moment is scheduled to take place in early June.
In the worst case scenario, if he's unable to recover in time, Groves is going to make a request to the WBSS to push back the date of the final bout. After winning two fights in the tournament, Groves is determined to compete in the finale and has no intention of allowing another fighter to replace him in the tournament.