Q: Erik, apparently there will be a Swedish fan invasion in Kolding on Saturday…
ES: “Yes, there will be almost 100 supporters coming down from Sweden. That really means a lot to me. It´s the biggest fight of my career by far, and it´s great to have so much support. It´s not an easy trip for them, it takes quite a while to come to Kolding, so I really appreciate it. They will create a fantastic atmosphere. And with their help I will put on a great fight.”
Q: How has the preparation been going?
ES: “Everything went really well. I have prepared hard for a long time. I knew since the middle of the summer that this fight would be coming. I had Mock on my mind every time I went to practice. I am in the shape of my life. The sparring was very good, too, we had the last session on Thursday. I am ready.”
Q: Did you spar with fellow Nordic Fight Night colleague Oscar Ahlin?
ES: “Yes, we did some sparring, but not a lot. Enrico Koelling, one of the up-and-coming German fighters, suited me better style-wise. So I did most of my sparring with him. But it was great to have Oscar over here in Berlin. It´s exciting to have so many Swedes on the team. Oscar, Anthony Yigit, Otto Wallin and now Klara Svensson – we have a very talented team. There are great times ahead for Swedish boxing.”
Q: What are you doing in your spare time?
ES: “I just try to relax, watch some movies or play some video games. I spend a lot of time watching boxing, like other fights or my opponents. I also watch my old fights to analyse my mistakes. I tape every sparring session and analyse them as well. So I have a lot of boxing to watch in my spare time. It really helps me to get better.”
Q: You are a true professional, inside and outside the ring. Have you always been that focused?
ES: “Yes. It´s all part of our big plan. I started boxing when I was 11 and when I was 12 years old I knew I wanted to be a world champion. I have always been very focused. So I sat down with my father and we wrote down a plan to become the best boxer in the world. It has been a long and difficult, yet very exciting path, and here I am, ten years later, fighting for the European Union Title. That is a big step for me. It will put me up the rankings and closer to achieving my ultimate goal. I am really excited about it.”
Q: As with every journey, there must have been some obstacles?
ES: “There have been a few obstacles, inside and outside the ring. Inside the ring, I once had to fight with a broken jaw (in May 2011). It was a tough experience but I hung in there and got the win. Outside the ring, there are some challenges, too. I always have to put my training in the first place, I always have to be focused, so there is not much time to enjoy life like other 20-year-olds might do. But when the referee raises my arm after a win, I know it´s well worth it.”
Q: What do you think about Mock?
ES: “Mock is a tough man, he certainly has a lot of routine. He made his pro debut two weeks before I was born. He knows what he is doing but I believe I have the skills to beat him. I don´t think he is as fast as he used to be. He is still a good fighter, though, with a lot of power. He knocked down David Haye with a big shot. I have to be on alert from the first bell to make sure he doesn´t catch me. I am not afraid of his power, but I don´t like to get hit. I don´t think he has the precision to get through my defense, though.”
Tickets for the Nordic Fight Night on October 19 are available at www.billetten.dk . They can also be purchased directly at TRE-FOR Arena by phone (76 32 60 00) and email ( [email protected] ). The TV10 broadcast will start at 21:00.
Tags: Erik Skoglund