British Callum Smith (76,02 kg) (22-0, 17 KOs) and Swedish Erik Skoglund (76,06 kg) (26-0, 12 KOs) are ready for Saturday’s super middleweight premiere of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Ali Trophy at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.
“I can’t wait for the fight,” said Smith.
The Liverpool fighter will be fighting for the seventh time at the Echo Arena.
“I have always been able to perform well at the Echo Arena, and I can promise my fans another great fight tomorrow. I always try to improve and tomorrow I will show how much I have improved since my last fight.”
“I haven’t regretted picking Skoglund. Stylistically he will bring out the best in my style and things people haven’t seen from me before.”
The Swede, however, looked just as confident as his opponent, one the favorites to take home the Ali Trophy next year in May.
“I feel very good,” said Skoglund. “I believe in myself and the people of Sweden believe me, I will do anything to make them proud. Maybe my countrymen are the only people who believe in me, so I am happy for their support!”
The weigh-in was announced by legendary ring announcer, Jimmy Lennon Jr.
“It is great to be in Liverpool, the second stop of the tournament. The World Boxing Super Series is a very exciting concept and I think it is great for boxing to see some of the best in the world fight each other, and that is what we are going to see on Saturday,” said Lennon Jr.
“’I’ve got no regret about picking Erik as an opponent,” said Smith. “I picked Erik because I thought stylistically he would bring out the best in me. The best version of me will beat the best version of him because I am the better fighter. I think on Saturday in front of my hometown fans you will see a very good performance from myself.”
‘’I’ve been in Liverpool for a few days now,” said Skoglund. “It’s a nice place, a nice town, so far so good. Normally I am fighting in my hometown in Sweden with all the expectations and the pressure from the fans. Here I am the underdog, all the pressure is on Callum.”
“I can’t wait to step into the ring. I will do my best, I am happy with the role as an underdog. I am always confident, this is a fight between two undefeated and confident guys, but I believe I have what it takes to win.”
“This will be a close fight,” said Johan Skoglund, Erik’s dad and trainer. “We have a good plan, and we think we can do this. We will try whatever we can to get the win and process in the tournament.”
“It’s amazing to be in Liverpool with such good athletes,”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer:
We have two of the best young challengers out there, two guys waiting for their shots, waiting to beat the best and be the best. It’s going to be a super fight on Saturday!”
The Smith bros: Callum will KO Erik Skoglund in the early rounds
Boxing brothers Paul, Liam and Stephen Smith predict a KO victory, when their youngest brother Callum faces Swedish Erik Skoglund in an Ali Trophy quarter-final bout at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday.
Paul Smith (34) (38-7, 22 KOs): “I think Callum will win by knockout and it could be pretty early. I am not saying Skoglund is a bad fighter, but he is open to some of the shots Callum throws.”
“When you are in there with Callum, he is very difficult to keep out of the way and not get hit by.”
Stephen Smith (32) (25-3, 15 KOs): “They are both unbeaten, both world class operators. They will both come out confident in their own ability, but I believe Callum is better in all departments. “
“Whether it takes him three or four or seven or eight, Callum will stop him. It depends on when Callum lands. When he eventually lands his shots, the fight will stop.”
Liam Smith (29) (25-1-1, 14 KOs): “I predict a good fight. I think Skoglund comes prepared, he looks fit. Callum is in there with a good solid fighter, unbeaten. But Callum is there believe me, I have watched him spar. I will probably say Callum wins on points, but don’t be surprised if it goes early.”
Callum Smith, Erik Skoglund Ready To Fight
Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) and Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) had the chance to size each other up today at a media workout at the Rotunda ABC ahead of their hotly anticipated World Boxing Super Series quarter-final clash on Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.
Smith, who was joined by boxing brothers Paul, Stephen and Liam, watched on as his Swedish rival Skoglund was put through his paces by his father Johan.
‘’I’ve had a good camp,’’ said Smith after his workout. ‘’I feel strong and I’m ready to do a job on Saturday. I’ve watched a lot of Erik and so has my coach Joe Gallagher. We know what he does well and we know what he doesn’t do so well. I’ve got a list of things to do, and as long as I stick to my game plan, I think the best version of me beats the best version of him.’’
Smith, the super middleweight tournament’s second seed, selected Skoglund as his opponent at the live Draft Gala in Monte Carlo in July, and with just days to go before his hometown showdown, the 27 year-old revealed he is still happy with his choice.
‘’I’ve got no regrets. I didn’t pick Erik because he was a bad fighter. I picked him because I thought stylistically he would bring out the best in me, and I stick by that. I think on Saturday you will see a very good performance from myself.
‘’It’s always nice to fight at home. Some of best performances have been at the Echo Arena. I always seem to rise to the occasion and deliver for the fans. I know I’m up against a tough fight but every time I’ve been up against it before, I’ve always come out on top and put in the best performance of my career so far, and I think this weekend will be no different.’’
Skoglund, who arrived in Liverpool on Sunday, appeared equally confident as he begins his quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, and while he admits he learnt little from today’s training, the 26 year-old says he has studied Smith and is ready to upset the local fighter in front of his home fans.
‘’I had a nice workout,’’ said Skoglund. ‘’I’m feeling explosive and sharp, and that’s what we are aiming for – to keep that sharpness until Saturday.
‘’I didn’t see too much from Callum today. I was doing my own thing and talking to the press, but from what I did see, he looks good, but of course he looks good, everyone looks good on the pads so you can’t take too much from that, but I’ve been studying his fights. I’ve learnt a lot and I’m confident for Saturday.
‘’I’ve been in Liverpool for a few days now. It’s a nice place. The weather has not been too good, but I’ve had a walk around town. I’ve not had a chance to explore much because all my focus is on the fight. However, hopefully I will win some fans on Saturday night and I can return to Liverpool another time.’’
AIRING LIVE IN CANADA THIS SATURDAY EXCLUSIVELY ON SUPER CHANNEL
The focus shifts from cruiserweights to super middleweights this Saturday (Sept. 16) in World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) quarterfinals action as undefeated, elite 168-pound fighters Callum “Mundo” Smith and Erik Skoglund throw-down at Echo Arena in Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Canadian boxing fans will be able to watch all the tournament action live, including Smith vs. Skoglund, on Super Channel, which acquired the rights in Canada to broadcast the World Boxing Super Series from MP & Silva, a leading international media company that provides media rights, digital, technology and sponsorship services.
The “O” must go in Saturday’s initial super middleweight fight in WBSS tournament as undefeated boxers Smith and Skoglund battle in the 12-round main event, airing live on Super Channel at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT, for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Diamond Championship.
The “Smith vs. Skoglund” card start time on Super Channel is TBA (check for updated details on www.superchannel.ca).
Smith (22-0, 17 KOs), fighting at home in Liverpool, is rated No. 8 by The Ring magazine. He is a former WBC Silver and European super middleweight champion who is a rising star.
“A ring is a ring no matter where it is, but course, I’m happy to be fighting in Liverpool,” Smith admitted. “This is my home and this is where all my best performances as a professional have been. I like fighting in Liverpool, and with the crowd behind me, I will have an added advantage.
“There are no easy fights in this tournament. It’s the best fighting the best, but I believe I made the right decision (choosing Skoglund) in Monte Carlo (at the WBSS Draft Gala). That’s not to say Skoglund is not a good fighter. I think he is a very good fighter. His record speaks for itself, but I think stylistically, he was the right choice for me.
“It’ll be a tough test. On paper, Skoglund is probably the best fighter I’ve ever faced, and I will need to be at my best to beat him. But every time I’ve been up against it in my career, and every time there’s been that fear factor, it’s brought out the best in me and I’m hoping for the same Saturday.”
Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) was ranked by all four major sanctioning bodies as a light heavyweight before moving down in weight to compete in the WBSS as a super middleweight. The 26-year-old Swede has been the IBO, WBA International and European champion.
“This is a huge opportunity for me to prove myself at the highest level,” Skoglund said. “Callum Smith is a top-level fighter and one of the tournament favorites. This is what the World Boxing Super Series is all about – the best fighting the best! That’s why I entered and that is why I’m really looking forward to this fight.
“For me, it’s no problem fighting in Liverpool. Of course, I am always thankful for the opportunity to fight in front of my fans in Sweden, but I’m happy not having that pressure on my shoulders for this fight and I will enjoy being the underdog for once.”
The inaugural season of the World Boxing Super Series features two weight classes (cruiserweight & super middleweight), 16 fighters, and a total of 14 main events. An expert panel invited the world’s best boxers to compete, namely the top 15-ranked fighters of the four major federations: WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO. In each weight class, eight boxers will battle it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament, with four quarterfinals (September & October 2017), two semifinals (January & February 2018) and one championship final (May 2018).
World Boxing Super Series is a new revolutionary bracket-style elimination tournament featuring the world`s best boxers and a total of $50 million in prize money. The knockout format of the competition will see the best boxers ultimately compete for the Muhammad Ali Trophy, the greatest prize in boxing. The tournament is organized by newly-founded Comosa AG, a Swiss-registered company with principal owners Highlight Event & Entertainment, Modern Times Group and Team Sauerland. Comosa AG is working in partnership with boxers, promoters and managers around the world, and in alignment with the four major world boxing federations, to create a new global platform for the sport.
“Smith vs. Skoglund” card and several preliminary bouts, promoted by Matchroom Boxing, will air exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
UPCOMING WBSS EVENTS & RESULTS ON SUPER CHANNEL
Sept. 9 – Cruiserweight Quarter-Final in Berlin, Germany
WBO Cruiserweight World Championship
Oleksandr Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs), Kiev, Ukraine
Marco Huck (40-5-1, 27 KOs), Berlin, Germany
(Usyk retained WBO cruiserweight title)
Sept. 16 – Super Middleweight Quarter-Final in Liverpool, UK
WBC Super Middleweight Diamond Championship
Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs), Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs), Nykoping, Sweden
Sept. 23 – Cruiserweight Quarter-Final in San Antonio, Texas, USA
WBA Cruiserweight World Championship
Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), Champion, Miami, Florida, USA by way of Cuba
Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1, 21 KOs), Challenger, Volgodonsk, Russia
Sept. 30 – Cruiserweight Quarter-Final in Riga, Latvia
WBC Cruiserweight World Championship
Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs), Champion, Riga, Latvia
Mike Perez (22-2-1, 14 KOs), Challenger, Cork, Ireland by way of Cuba
All WSBB fights will also be available on Super Channel On Demand.
Super Channel has recently aired major boxing events live like Brook vs. Spence Jr., Pacquiao-Horn, Eubank, Jr. vs. Abraham, Lomachenko vs.Marriaga and Crawford vs. Indongo.
To watch all the World Boxing Super Series action live, as well as more exciting boxing to come, fight fans in Canada can contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it offers, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month.
About Super Channel
Super Channelis a national premium pay television network, consisting of four HD channels, four SD channels, and Super Channel On Demand.
Super Channel’s mission is to entertain and engage Canadian audiences by providing a unique and exclusive entertainment experience. With a core foundation of integrity and accountability, we dedicate ourselves to implementing innovative programming strategies and unparalleled team work that provides viewers with exceptional value and variety.
Super Channel is owned by Allarco Entertainment 2008 Inc., an Edmonton-based media company.
Super Channel is currently available on Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Rogers Anyplace TV, Shaw Cable, Cogeco Cable, Access Communications, Bell Alliant TV, Source Cable, SaskTel, MTS, Novus, EastLink, TELUS, Videotron, Westman Communications and other regional providers.
Who wins?: Smith and Skoglund’s co-competitors predicting a tough night for the Swede
British Callum Smith or Swedish Erik Skoglund? That’s the question before the super middleweight premiere of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Ali Trophy at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. Eubank Jr., Yildirim, Groves, Cox and Brant give their predictions ahead of the hotly anticipated fight.
Chris Eubank Jr.:
“Callum Smith is talented but untested. He is going up against a guy who has an edge in experience due to Skoglund having already gone the championship distance regularly. If Callum is going to do what he is expected to do then, well, he will win. I am hoping he does as I want to fight him in an all-British final.”
“I saw him as a betting favourite just behind George Groves but he first has to prove that he belongs there. To date he has beaten nobody that suggests that he should be ranked that high.”
“Callum Smith is a much better fighter and he will win for sure. Skoglund has a good record, but he has not really been tested. Smith has waited a long time to be in the spotlight of boxing, now it is finally his time. I think he should have been the number one seed in the tournament, and I definitely expect to meet him in the final.”
”For me Smith is a big favourite. He has hometown advantage and seems relaxed and focused. Skoglund looks weight drained and a little wide eyed. I would pick Smith to win via KO.” Jamie Cox: “It looks like it will be a great opener in the super middleweight division with two unbeaten fighters! I’m going for Smith however it won’t be easy. I hope Callum reaches the final so I am part of an all British final with two unbeaten fighters.”
“Two good fighters. let the best man win!”
“I am very excited to watch the Smith vs. Skoglund fight. It is extremely hard for me to make a prediction. The best prediction that I have would be if it ends in a knockout, Smith will be the winner. If it goes to decision I would choose Skoglund due to his experience going the distance.”
Tickets for the Smith-Skoglund Muhammad Ali Trophy quarter-final and WBC Diamond World title contest on Saturday, September 16 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool are available from £35 at EchoArena.com