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15 OCTOBER 2018

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Smith Defeats Skoglund In 12 Round War

By Steven Bateson


Callum Smith beat Erik Skoglund in a terrific twelve round contest to kickoff the Super Middleweight World Boxing Super Series in his hometown of Liverpool, winning the WBC Diamond Championship in the process. It was a bloody, back and forth, affair where Skoglund was forced to climb off the canvass in the eleventh round to see the contest out. Both fighters entered the bout undefeated but it was Smith who started the brighter, using his long reach and excellent jab to control the distance. They traded good right hands in the first round and then Smith settled into a rhythm as he looked to land his devastating right hand. He found the right in the fourth round, momentarily staggering Skoglund against the ropes, but the Swede escaped the danger and set in motion his best period of the fight.

Smith’s nose was busted badly by a straight right hand in the fifth round and from there Skoglund began to exert his strength, having dropped from 175lbs, as he bullied Smith at times and trapped him against the ropes. Smith’s work had become ragged and he was guilty of overreaching at times, allowing Skoglund to land his left jab over and over again. Smith’s right eye was swelling and he seemed to be struggling with his breathing but he stuck to his task and worked back into the contest from round nine. Both fighters traded jabs but it was Smith’s shots that carried the more power, returning the favour and busting Skoglund’s nose before sinking a left hook to the body that caused the undefeated Swede to wince in pain.

Another left to the body hurt Skoglund in round ten, sapping his energy, and in round eleven he remained static as Smith detonated another right hand. Skoglund’s legs forced him into a little dance and then an inside left hook to the head dropped him to a knee. He beat the count and survived an onslaught from Smith to see out the round.

Skoglund demonstrated his heart and bravery in round twelve as he took the fight to Smith but it was a little too late to force the pendulum back in his favour.

Another terrific production from the WBSS team and these tournament are really providing value for money thus far. Smith advances to the semi finals and will meet the winner of Rob Brand-Jurgen Braehmer (who meet on October 27th) sometime in the early new year. I believe Smith’s treading water for almost two years affected his performance tonight but he still showed his class and I’d expect an even bigger statement in the next round from a man considered by man as the favourite for the tournament. Scorecards read: 116-112, 117-110, 117-111


St Helen’s Martin Murray scored a fourth round stoppage over Arman Torosyan as he looks to build back up toward another world title challenge. Murray weighed in seven pounds heavier than his Armenian opponent and it was clear he was the more dangerous man from the outset, hurting his foe with a body blow in the first stanza. Murray continued to walk Torosyan down whilst the contest wore on and it was obvious that every time he attacked the body he was visibly weakening his opponent. Torosyan called Murray on and acted as though he wasn’t hurt but he finally took a knee in the fourth after another sustained assault on his abdomen, a right to the body in the corner was the final blow. He just about made his feet but the referee waved it off and awarded Murray his 17th career knockout. Murray has been unlucky in his career not to already be a world champion (the Sergio Martinez fight especially) but this will most certainly be the last roll of the dice, one would assume. There will be bigger and hardest tests than this in the 168lbs division but Murray will provide a difficult night for anyone.


Zach Parker (13-0 with 9 KO’s) made a huge statement in the 168lbs division by destroying Luke Blackledge inside one round of their British Title eliminator. The 23 year old was relatively unknown heading into this one but the devastating lead left hand which separated Blackledge from his senses will certainly have put him on the domestic map. Parker span away from his foe’s attack, pushed him off toward the ropes, and then uncorked the peach of a shot. Blackledge got to his feet but he was in no condition to carry on, his legs barely able to hold him. Blackledge was expected to give Parker the toughest test of his career but the man from Derbyshire had other ideas, ending the fight early and securing a shot at the Lonsdale belt. Current beltholder Rocky Fielding defends against David Brophy on September 30th and the winner of that will be mandated to face Parker.

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