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."
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.
An official eliminator for the British Super Middleweight Championship between undefeated prospect Zach Parker (12-0, 9 KOs) and the former Commonwealth Super Middleweight Champion Luke Blackledge (23-4-2, 8 KOs) will take place on September 16th at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
The British duo will go head-to-head over ten rounds on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight quarter-final clash between Liverpool’s Callum Smith and Sweden’s Erik Skoglund.
Parker, the highly rated unbeaten 23-year old from Derbyshire, has been making a name for himself on the UK’s ‘small hall’ scene with some very impressive performances but has now expressed his delight at finally receiving his chance to shine on the big stage.
“I cannot thank the World Boxing Super Series enough for this opportunity that they have given me,” said Parker. “I am so grateful”.
Despite admitting that Blackledge will be his toughest career test to date, Parker believes he will be too good for his Lancashire based opponent come fight night.
“Blackledge is, without doubt, the toughest opponent and biggest name that I am to face in my career so far, but this is a massive chance for me to make a serious statement.
I honestly feel like I'm going to totally school him! I'm going to play with him for 3 or 4 rounds, and then I'll knock him out when he walks onto one of my shots!”
Blackledge, the 26-year old from Lancashire, is the former Commonwealth Super Middleweight champion and WBC International Silver champion, as well as former British title challenger. Well known for being incredibly tough and always in fan-friendly fights, Blackledge has taken on some of the division’s top names, which happens to include Callum Smith and Erik Skoglund.
“This is a massive opportunity for me to box on such a big stage,” said Blackledge. “This is what boxing is all about for me - taking risky fights and making big statements. I could not be happier about getting the chance to box on this huge World Boxing Super Series event.”
“Parker has 100% underestimated me by choosing me as his opponent, and I think this is going to be one fight too soon for him. He's got a proper fight on his hands. And I'm not sure if he's got the ability to keep me off him for 10 rounds. It's going to be an absolute war!”
The World Boxing Super Series has today announced that StubHub will be the official ticketing and marketplace partner of the World Boxing Super Series. It will list face value tickets on StubHub and as part of the partnership, StubHub will also have a broad range of branding, digital, social and activation rights.
Stubhub will ticket a minimum of six European World Boxing Super Series events offering fans to see the best fight the best in the most iconic arenas around the world, kicking off with WBO World Champion Oleksander Uysk vs. Marco Huck at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin, Germany, on 9th September 2017. Following events include Callum Smith vs. Erik Skoglund at the Echo Arena Liverpool on 16th September and WBA World Champion George Groves vs. Jamie Cox at the SSE Wembley Arena on 14th October.
“This agreement provides all boxing fans with a clear destination for purchasing tickets to the European fights of The Greatest Prize in Boxing.” said Roger Lodewick, Comosa’s Chief Commercial Officer. ”We look forward to working together with StubHub and leveraging their scale and expertise as one of the industry leaders in ticketing, and particularly in the sport of boxing. Together we will ensure that we will continuously provide fans the opportunity to see the best fight the best in The Greatest arenas around the world.”
Ander Michelena, International General Manager of StubHub, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the new World Boxing Super Series to further promote and support boxing across Europe. Those wishing to purchase face value tickets to the European fights can do so by visiting StubHub.co.uk.”