Erik Skoglund (23-0, 11 KOs) and Derek Edwards (27-5-1, 14 KOs) came face-to-face today at the final pre-fight press conference ahead of their light heavyweight contest on Saturday night at the Rosvalla Arena in Nyköping, Sweden.
Edwards has come to Sweden full of confidence as he looks to claim his second his second Swedish scalp following a first-round knockout victory over the current WBC World Champion Badou Jack in February 2014.
‘’It’s great to be here in Sweden and I’m looking forward to delivering the fans an exciting fight on Saturday night,’’ says the boxer from Phoenix. ‘’Erik is an accomplished boxer, he’s tall and he likes to use the ring, but I’ve not seen anything overly impressive and I’ve seen some weaknesses I plan to exploit.
‘’Whether it’s early or late, I think I’m going to get the stoppage, but if I have to go the distance I’m prepared for that too. I want to close out the year with a good win here in Sweden before moving on to even bigger things in 2016.’’
Skoglund is also aiming to end the year on a high as he eyes a World title challenge in 2016, and while the home fighter is aware of the tough task he faces, the 24 year-old believes he has the skills to keep his unbeaten record intact.
‘’Derek is a good fighter,’’ says Skoglund. ‘’He is not just a puncher as many of the Swedish fans might think based on his performance against Jack, he can also box. He has been in there with some world-class fighters and he’s always dangerous.
‘’My training has gone really well. I feel relaxed and confortable. In my last fight I was coming back from injury but this time, I know I can trust my body and I’ve been able to concentrate on Derek from the beginning.
‘’I know I have the skills to beat him and I look forward to adding another big name to my record and claiming another win in front of my home fans in Nyköping.’’
Promoter Nisse Sauerland says Skoglund can prove he is ready for the big time by beating Edwards on Saturday night.
‘’This is a tough fight for Erik. Derek is a dangerous opponent, but by beating him, Erik can establish himself as a serious World title contender,’’ said Sauerland.
‘’It won’t be easy. We all saw how Derek handled Badou Jack, who is now a World Champion and one of the best fighters in the 168lbs division. Erik will need to bring his A-game to get the win and keep his World title dreams alive.’’
Also present at today’s press conference was Swedish fan favorite Anthony Yigit (15-0-1, 6 KOs) whose light welterweight battle with former WBO World Champion DeMarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley (42-25-1, 25 KOs) provides chief support at the Rosvalla Arena.
In his illustrious career, Corley has fought a who’s who of modern boxing greats including the recently retired pound-for-pound great Floyd Maywether Jr, and the American fighter believes his experience will prove the decisive factor on Saturday night.
‘’I’m happy to be here in Sweden. I’ve been all over the world and this is an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,’’ says ‘Chop Chop’. ‘’Anthony is a young, undefeated fighter but his record doesn’t bother me. When you start out like him, your records protected so that doesn’t always tell the full story.
‘’I’m expecting him to be fast and try to start strong, so I‘ll need to make some adjustments for that, but as the fight goes on, I’ll use my experience, pick my shots and break him down.’’
Yigit was full of respect for the former World Champion. ‘’Once a Champion always a Champion,’’ declared the Stockholm fighter, who is eager to prove himself against the American veteran.
‘’I have a lot of respect for DeMarcus and everything he has achieved. He has fought against some of the best fighters of his generation and done really well against them.
‘’I believe this is going to be a really difficult fight for me, but I’m prepared. I’ve had the longest and best camp of my career, and I’m ready for Saturday night!
‘’I know it is going to be a tough fight, but that’s the only way to move forward. I need to test myself against better and better opponents, and this is another step in the right direction for me.’’
Tickets for the Nordic Fight Night show on Saturday, December 19 at the Rosvalla Arena in Nyköping are available via www.biljettforum.se or by calling (+46) 0771-130 150. All the action will be shown live on TV10 in Sweden.