Former five-time World Champion Mikkel Kessler believes Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) will upset the odds and defeat hometown hero Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) on September 16 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Smith and Skoglund go head-to-head in the first super middleweight quarter-final of the World Boxing Super Series, and having previously sparred Skoglund, Kessler is backing the Swedish fighter to progress to the semi-finals.
"I remember those sparring sessions we had four years ago before my second fight with Carl Froch, and Erik has developed a lot since then”, said Kessler. “I have watched quite a lot of Smith, he’s very big for the weight and he’s a great fighter, but if Erik employs the right tactics, he has an excellent chance of winning. He must believe in himself and not be affected by Callum having the whole city of Liverpool backing him."
Kessler has recently enjoyed some tough sparring sessions with Skoglund ahead of his own hotly anticipated comeback, and the Danish legend reveals that the Swedish underdog has all the necessary tools to cause an upset.
"Erik did well in the sparring with me and he is certainly in very good shape. Make no mistake about Erik, he is a very tough guy.
"It's good to be underdog”, said Kessler. “The main thing is that Erik needs to believe in himself. I believe in him and I will be rooting for him.
“I really believe that Erik will win this fight!"
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.