Callum Smith was a big favorite, but he had to fight for his quarterfinal victory in the World Boxing Super Series, defeating Erik Skoglund by unanimous decision to move on to the next round of the 168-pound tournament.
Scores were 116-112, 117-111, and 117-110 for Smith, which are fair enough, really, but don’t totally tell the story of a competitive bout.
Smith (23-0, 17 KO) had home field advantage in Liverpool, and fought well in the beginning of the bout, but Sweden’s Skoglund (26-1, 12 KO) got himself into the fight in the middle rounds behind a strong and consistent jab, a basic weapon, well-executed, that gave Smith some trouble.
Smith did make his own surge again late in the fight, dropping Skoglund in the 11th round to all but seal the deal.
Smith now moves on to the semifinal round, where he’ll meet the winner of the October 27 fight between Jürgen Brähmer and Rob Brant.
On the undercard, perennial middleweight contender Martin Murray (36-4-1, 17 KO) returned to action and stopped Arman Torosyan (18-4-1, 15 KO) in the fifth round, and super middleweight prospect Zach Parker improved to 13-0 (10 KO) with a first round stoppage of Luke Blackledge (23-5-2, 8 KO).