On the day that tickets for the opening World Boxing Super Series Super-Middleweight quarter-final between Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) and Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) go on sale, the Liverpool fighter spoke of how long-term ambition has brought him to the edge of greatness.
"I am really happy to be headlining at the Echo Arena," said Smith. "When I turned professional, and even when I was a kid, the plan was to go as far as I could and to hopefully one-day headline shows. Especially in my home city and I have been lucky enough to do that before in my career but this time, opening the Super-Middleweight part of the World Boxing Super Series, it is an honour and I am really looking forward to it.”
Smith, who is undefeated in his twenty-two professional contests, selected Skoglund as his quarter-final opponent during the live Draft Gala on July 8th at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
After hearing that the prestigious WBC Diamond Belt will be on the line, a belt never previously owned by a Super-Middleweight, Smith knew this fight against unbeaten Swede Erik Skoglund was the biggest of his career. "The minute I heard the WBC Diamond belt was on the line it gave me that added incentive. I treat every fight as a must win, but it is a bit better when there’s something on the line. WBC Diamond Champion would be a great achievement and it is a belt that I would be very proud to own."
"We did a bit of research on Skoglund when we heard he was in the competition obviously before we picked him," said Smith of his opponent. "But since the Draft in Monaco we have had a closer look. He is a good fighter, big for the weight and fought some decent names at Light-Heavyweight. He is coming down in weight so will think he has got the size advantage, he may have had that with the other six Super-Middleweights, but he loses that the second he steps in the ring with me.”
“He is a good all-round fighter who does the basics well, he fights when he has to and boxes when he has to. But I believe that the stuff that he is good at, I am better, I think I will be a little bit too good for him on the night. I picked him so I need to prove that that was the right decision by doing my job and beating him."