Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs) has invited countryman Zlatan Ibrahimovic to be ringside for his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final clash with Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) on Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
‘’Zlatan is a huge star in Sweden and a big inspiration for me, proving everything is possible,’’ said Skoglund. ‘’He has shown that someone from a relatively small country like Sweden can make it all the way to the top. He has conquered the world in football, and that is what I want to do in boxing. I know my team has invited him to come to the fight, and it would be an honour to have him ringside supporting me.’’
Ibrahimovic, one of football’s most colourful characters, took the English Premier League by storm last season, scoring 17 goals in 28 appearances and proving monumental in Manchester United’s successful Europa League and League Cup campaigns.
Skoglund hopes to enjoy similar success in England on Saturday when he faces Liverpool’s undefeated hometown hero Smith for the WBC World Diamond title and a place in the World Boxing Super Series semi-final.
‘’I’m looking forward to fighting in Liverpool,’’ he said. ‘’I’ve been fighting a lot lately in my hometown with all the pressure and expectations that come with that. In this fight, I’m the away fighter so all the pressure lies with Callum Smith and I can just concentrate on the fight and enjoy the evening.
‘’Of course, I’m confident but Callum is confident too. We’re both undefeated, we’re both hungry and that’s going to make for a great fight. On Saturday, I will fight my heart out to beat Callum and moving a step closer to the Muhammad Ali Trophy.’’
Tickets for the Smith-Skoglund Muhammad Ali Trophy quarter-final and WBC Diamond World title contest on Saturday, September 16 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool are available from £35 at EchoArena.com