Swedish light heavyweight Erik Skoglund (21-0, 11 KOs) has announced his desire to challenge for a world title in 2015. The 23 year-old, who is unbeaten in twenty-one professional contests and ranked #4 with the WBO and #5 with the IBF, believes that within the next twelve months he will be ready to take on the best in the division.
‘’Everything I have done since I first started boxing at 11 years old has been building towards this,’’ said the current IBF Intercontinental, European (EU) and WBC Youth Champion. ‘’All the hard work, all the sacrifice has been for one reason, so that one day, I can call myself champion of the world. I believe that next year I will be ready to take up the challenge and fulfil my destiny.’’
In one of boxing’s most competitive weight classes the young boxer from Nyköping has risen through the world rankings in impressive fashion. Now faced with the prospect of a world title challenge, Skoglund is confident he has what it takes to realise his ultimate ambition.
‘’My time has come!’’ declared the self-assured Swede. ‘’I’ve been surrounded by world champions from the first moment I stepped through the doors at Team Sauerland’s Berlin gym. I know what it takes to make it to the top and I know I am ready.’’
Should he succeed in his quest for world glory, ‘The Swedish Sensation’ would become the country’s first world champion since Armand Krajnc held the WBO middleweight title in 2001. A feat promoter Nisse Sauerland has full confidence in Skoglund achieving.
‘’We always knew that Erik was a special talent,’’ said Sauerland. ‘’What we didn’t realise was how quickly he would develop. The confidence and composure he has shown against top-level opposition is outstanding. We will not rush him into any fights and when he does challenge for a world title we will ensure he is ready. With that said, by the end of 2015 we have every belief that Erik will be world champion.’’
There are no easy routes to the top of division. To be crowned light heavyweight king Skoglund would need to dethrone one of the four reigning titlists – WBA Super and IBF Champion Bernard Hopkins, WBO Champion Sergey Kovalev who meets Hopkins in a unification fight later this year, WBC Champion Adonis Stevensen and WBA Regular Champion Juergen Braehmer.
While Skoglund and his promoter Sauerland refuse to rule out a meeting with either of the four champions, the young Swede has been vocal in his desire to face ‘’living legend’’ Bernard Hopkins before the American calls time on his illustrious career.
“It would be incredible to face Hopkins,’’ states Skoglund. ‘’It would be awesome to fight him, awesome to beat him, but even to get a shot against him would be amazing. He is still one of the best fighters in the world. He is a living legend!”
Whichever route is chosen, one thing is for sure, Sweden could have a new world champion sooner rather than later.