Luke Blackledge: “Smith-Skoglund is a 50-50 fight – Skoglund is one hell of a fighter!
Luke Blackledge, the only man to face both Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) and Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) in a professional boxing ring, has labeled their super middleweight clash a 50-50 fight and believes the Swedish star could be the dark horse in the tournament.
Smith and Skoglund will go head-to-head in the World Boxing Super Series quarter final on September 16 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Blackledge faced Smtih in Manchester in December 2016 for the British Super Middleweight title, and he boxed Skoglund in Frederikshavn, Denmark back in April 2013 for the WBC Youth Light Heavyweight World title. The 26-year old from Lancashire believes Skoglund is being seriously underestimated and suggests that the winner of this fight can go on to win the whole tournament.
“I went 10 rounds with both Smith and Skoglund. And those were two of the toughest fights of my career,’’ said Blackledge.
“Most British boxing fans won’t be aware of how good Skoglund is, but they definitely will be after this fight. This fight is a genuine 50-50. Everyone is underestimating Skoglund, but let me tell you now… he is one hell of a fighter!
“If Smith doesn’t come with the right game plan, Skoglund will beat him. Whoever has the best game plan on the night will win.
“I really believe the winner of this fight has a good chance to go on and win the whole tournament. My prediction is that the winner of Smith-Skoglund will go on to face George Groves in the final. And what another great fight that would be!’’
On the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series quarter final clash between Smith and Skoglund, Blackledge takes on Derbyshire’s Zach Parker in an official eliminator for the British Super Middleweight Championship, in what promises to be another action-packed contest.
“Preparations have been going absolutely perfectly so far for my fight,’’ says Blackledge. ‘’I’ve been putting my body through hell during training and I’m ready to do the business in Liverpool.
“Parker is a talented young boxer but he really hasn’t fought anyone yet. We’ll find out how good he is on September 16th!’’
Parker faces Blackledge in British title eliminator clash on World Boxing Super Series undercard in Liverpool
An official eliminator for the British Super Middleweight Championship between undefeated prospect Zach Parker (12-0, 9 KOs) and the former Commonwealth Super Middleweight Champion Luke Blackledge (23-4-2, 8 KOs) will take place on September 16th at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
The British duo will go head-to-head over ten rounds on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight quarter-final clash between Liverpool’s Callum Smith and Sweden’s Erik Skoglund.
Parker, the highly rated unbeaten 23-year old from Derbyshire, has been making a name for himself on the UK’s ‘small hall’ scene with some very impressive performances but has now expressed his delight at finally receiving his chance to shine on the big stage.
“I cannot thank the World Boxing Super Series enough for this opportunity that they have given me,” said Parker. “I am so grateful”.
Despite admitting that Blackledge will be his toughest career test to date, Parker believes he will be too good for his Lancashire based opponent come fight night.
“Blackledge is, without doubt, the toughest opponent and biggest name that I am to face in my career so far, but this is a massive chance for me to make a serious statement.
I honestly feel like I’m going to totally school him! I’m going to play with him for 3 or 4 rounds, and then I’ll knock him out when he walks onto one of my shots!”
Blackledge, the 26-year old from Lancashire, is the former Commonwealth Super Middleweight champion and WBC International Silver champion, as well as former British title challenger. Well known for being incredibly tough and always in fan-friendly fights, Blackledge has taken on some of the division’s top names, which happens to include Callum Smith and Erik Skoglund.
“This is a massive opportunity for me to box on such a big stage,” said Blackledge. “This is what boxing is all about for me – taking risky fights and making big statements. I could not be happier about getting the chance to box on this huge World Boxing Super Series event.”
“Parker has 100% underestimated me by choosing me as his opponent, and I think this is going to be one fight too soon for him. He’s got a proper fight on his hands. And I’m not sure if he’s got the ability to keep me off him for 10 rounds. It’s going to be an absolute war!”
Tickets are on sale now priced £35, £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200 and £350 (VIP) via Liverpool Echo Arena
Face value tickets are also available from www.stubhub.co.uk. StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of the World Boxing Super Series.
The Baggies Bomber’ Tommy Langford and Callum Smith have renewed acquaintances in the ring as they prepare for their title tests ahead.
The two have been sparring at Joe Gallagher’s gym in Manchester as Smith prepares for the World Boxing Super Series, writes Craig Birch.
Scouser Smith is a part of the eight-man knockout tournament, where the upcoming quarter-finals will then see the winners progress to semis and finals in 2018.
The final will see the WBA super middleweight crown contested, as current champion George Groves has chucked his belt into the competition.
Smith gets going against the also undefeated Erik Skoglund on September 16 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Langford is waiting on a date for a first defence of the British middleweight title, with Jack Arnfield ordered to be his challenger by the British Boxing Board of Control.
The fighting pride of West Bromwich Albion supporters and Baggies nut himself holds a victory over Smith, too, from when the two were amateurs.
Langford will be looking to bounce back from an unsuccessful tilt at WBA interim world honours, where he was was halted in five rounds against Avtandil Khurtsidze.
It was the first pro defeat after 18 straight wins and six TKOs for the Devon-born Brummie, who has also lifted Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental straps.
The 28-year-old began life in Bideford, but settled in Birmingham as a teenager. His dad, David, was born in Dudley and he still has family in the Black Country.
Premier League club Albion regularly show their support for him through their media channels and allow him to use their training facilities.
He’s known to most of the players as he’s a match programme columnist and a regular on match-days, as he’s a season ticket holder.
He attended his first game at the Hawthorns on 5 April 1999, aged nine, where the home side were hammered 5-1 by Crewe in what is now the Championship.