Callum Smith was one of the last entrants announced for the World Boxing Super Series, but his upcoming first-round fight against Erik Skoglund is the first to have a date and venue.
While all first-round matchups for the super middleweight and cruiserweight tournaments, Smith vs. Skoglund is the first to have a date and venue. Smith, the No. 2 seed in the WBSS super middleweight tournament, and Skoglund will fight on September 16 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England in a 12-round fight, according to tournament organizer Comosa AG.
When the fight date was announced, Smith said he was excited to be able to compete in front of his home country against what Smith would consider the toughest opponent in Smith's career.
"There are no easy fights in this tournament. It's the best fighting the best, but I believe I made the right decision in Monte Carlo. That's not to say Skoglund is not a good fighter. I think he is a very good fighter. His record speaks for itself, but I think stylistically, he was the right choice for me. It will be a tough test. On paper, Skoglund is probably the best fighter I've ever faced, and I will need to be at my best to beat him. But every time I've been up against it in my career and every time there's been that fear factor, it's brought out the best in me and I'm hoping for the same on September 16," Smith said.
Smith turned down the opportunity to fight for the vacant WBC super middleweight title against Anthony Dirrell later this year so that Smith an participate in the tournament, where top-seeded WBA champion George Groves and IBO champion Chris Eubank Jr., the No. 3 seed are also competing.
Skoglund joins the tournament after winning the WBA and IBO International light heavyweight titles in separate fights in 2016.
The Smith vs. Skoglund card will happen on the same day that numerous world title fights are also being held such as Billy Joe Saunders vs. Willie Monroe Jr. for the WBO middleweight title, Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez for the unified middleweight title and Milan Melindo vs. Hekkie Budler for the IBF junior flyweight title.