Rocky Fielding and Erik Skoglund clash for the WBC Silver Super-Middleweight title at The O2 in London on Sunday December 17, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Fielding blasted David Brophy away inside a round to add the Commonwealth title to his British strap in Liverpool in September, and at the same venue two weeks earlier, Skoglund gave Callum Smith the toughest test of his career when they clashed in the quarter-finals of the World Boxing Super Series – and both men see the fight as the gateway to World title shots in 2018.
“I thought that I was going to be getting a European level fight next but I this is bigger than that and past that level,” said Fielding.
“Skoglund has just come out of the Super Series and they are all classed as World class fighters, so I am up against a World class operator and whoever wins can go onto a World title next.
“He boxed well against Callum. He’s got a good jab and his movement was good. People had doubts about the weight for him dropping down from Light-Heavyweight but it didn’t look a problem. He’s got a good boxing brain and I know that this is going to be a really tough fight.
“I trained so hard for the Brophy fight and everything paid off. It only went one round but we train for 12 hard rounds, so I’m still feeling fresh and I know that I will be at 100 per cent for this fight. It was a short fight with Brophy but the shots I hit him with were World class shots. When I am feeling at my best I can clip anyone and do damage to anyone, including Skoglund.
“I had nerves for the Brophy fight and that’s the first time since fighting Brian Vera that I’ve felt that. I looked back at my record the other day and all my best performances have come when I’ve felt nervous because it’s a big fight.
“This is the biggest fight of my career now and I know that I’m going to be nervous fighting in a huge fight on a massive bill at The O2 – that fear factor will be back and that will pay off in a tough fight but one I know I am capable of winning.”
“I’m really looking forward to get back in the ring and fighting for the WBC silver belt is a great opportunity to get in position for a world title,” said Skoglund. “Sadly I fell short in a close fight in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. As I think I should have gone further in that tournament my goal is to become World champion as the tournament moves on, and later on fight the winner. I hope that can lead to a rematch with Callum Smith.
“Fielding is a good opponent who can really punch. I will need to stay sharp and focused all the time, but as long as I can do that, I can’t see him beating me. Everyone has a punchers chance, and that’s the only chance I give Fielding.”
“This is a great fight and a real 50-50 that will put the winner in light for a shot at the World title,” said Fielding’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Rocky is coming off a brutal first round win against Brophy and Erik gained plenty of fans in a very competitive match up with Callum Smith earlier this year. I’m looking forward to seeing these two clash on a huge night of boxing.”
“It’s great to be working with Matchroom on such a World-class fight,” said Skoglund’s promoter Kalle Sauerland. “Both fighters are coming into the fight a step away from a World title challenge and with the WBC Silver belt at stake emphasizes the importance of the fight even more.”
Fielding and Skoglund clash on the undercard of the rematch between Heavyweight rivals Tony Bellew and David Haye.
Limited tickets remain on general sale from www.theO2.co.uk and on 0844 856 0202 priced £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £500.
CHISORA: EURO GLORY LEADS ME TO MASSIVE FIGHTS
Dereck Chisora believes ripping the European Heavyweight title from Agit Kabayel on Saturday night will catapult him back into the World title mix as they clash in Monte-Carlo, live on Sky Sports.
‘Del Boy’ can become a two-time Euro king by taking the strap from the unbeaten German in his first defence, and the Londoner feels that will land him the mega-fights he wants – starting with a rematch with capital rival Dillian Whyte following their epic battle in December.
“I need to get this fight done and look good,” said Chisora. I haven’t had a big fight since the Whyte fight and I’ve been pushing for that rematch but it’s not happened and not looking likely any time soon.
“This came up and I think that it was meant to be for Dillian but he was too scared to fight this boy, so I took it.”
Whyte defeated Robert Helenius in Cardiff last weekend in an eliminator for the WBC title held by brash American Deontay Wilder, who defends his crown against Bermane Stiverne in Brooklyn this Saturday.
Chisora is handily ranked in the top ten in the WBC ratings and could be looking at a second World title shot in 2018 and would welcome all-comers in the biggest fights he can land.
“Dillian won at the weekend, I’m going to win, so let’s do it, there’s nothing stopping us,” said Chisora. “But you never know what is going to get in the way, this is boxing.
“I want to fight for a World title too. We don’t know why Joseph Parker is holding a World title. How is Wilder still a World champion? Anthony Joshua is doing well, he fights twice a year and puts on a great show. The other two guys are just lucky. They were there at the right time.
“Parker boxed for a World title without TV – that’s embarrassing and they didn’t sell any tickets. That tells you everything.
“My plans with Eddie include fighting in America, keeping fit and training hard and making the fights that I want to happen. Wilder fights Stiverne, AJ and Dillian have just boxed, Jarrell Miller fights next weekend – the Heavyweight game is bubbling up right now, it’s buzzing.
“It’s been a great year for boxing in Britain, and I think 2018 can be even better.”
Chisora and Kabayel clash on a stacked bill in Monte-Carlo topped by a pair of World title battles with Russian destroyer Dmitry Bivol making the first defence of his WBA Light-Heavyweight strap against Australian Trent Broadhurst while Jamie McDonnell and Liborio Solis return to Monte-Carlo for a rematch for McDonnell’s WBA Bantamweight crown and Scott Quigg and Oleg Yefimovych clash in an eliminator for the WBA World Featherweight title.
Scott Quigg believes he can become a two-weight World champion in 2018 – but says he’s prepared for a hard night’s work on Saturday when he faces Oleg Yefimovych in a eliminator for the WBA World Bantamweight title in Monte-Carlo, live on Sky Sports.
Quigg held the WBA Bantamweight crown over six fights before losing out to Belfast rival Carl Frampton and the 29 year old has since moved to Los Angeles to team up with legendary trainer Freddie Roach, landing their first win together in April against Viorel Simion at Wembley Stadium.
Quigg is honing his skills in the Wild Card Gym with the hall of fame coach and they were ringside when WBA Super king Leo Santa Cruz and regular champion Abner Mares were in action in California two weeks ago, where both men won via stoppage.
Yefimovych is ranked at number four in the WBA so a win for Quigg puts him right in the mix for a World title clash in 2018 – and with the stakes high, Quigg knows it’s going to be a hard night’s work.
“I’m expecting a tough fight from Oleg,” said Quigg. “I know I’ve got a tough fight in front of me but it’s one I’m very confident in with the work I’m putting in and how I’m looking in the gym. Oleg’s highly ranked in the WBA so it’s going to shoot me right up there. I’ve never boxed in Monte Carlo so it’s another new experience and one I am looking forward to.
“The fights I want are Mares, Santa Cruz. I believe they’re going to be fighting early March or sometime in April, I’d love the winner of that. I want to be involved in big fights, like the big fight with Carl Frampton.”
A rematch with Frampton is a fight that Quigg would also love, and like Quigg, ‘The Jackal’ has recently made a training switch from Shane McGuigan to Jamie Moore.
“I made some big changes,” said Quigg. “I needed to make them big changes and I felt the benefits of it.
“It’s good to have something different, Freddie has unrivalled experience and teaming up with him was only ever going to improve me. I’ve been getting back to my boxing with Freddie, getting behind the jab and simplifying things. It’s all been about letting my skills flow and not smothering my work, and that will let my natural power work. I’ve been learning every day and most importantly, I’m happy.
“I have no doubt Carl will be the same. He’s been with the McGuigans for a long time and sometimes you just need a change.
“I do think the change will benefit him, it will do him good. The main thing is you’ve got to enjoy training. If you’re not enjoying it, you might as well walk away.
“He’s changed his trainer, he’s changed his team, and it might give him that spark back that he was lacking.
“I came up short but I believe I’ve made massive improvements already, learned from that. Those are the fights I want to be involved in. Anybody who’s got a World title at 126lbs, they are the fights I want to be involved in.
“I believe I can beat him, so I would love that fight, but there is Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Oscar Valdez, Lee Selby. I want to be involved in any of those big fights. On my day, I turn up 100 per cent, I believe I can beat every one of them.
“He’s the only person to beat me, so obviously I want a rematch. If it didn’t happen it would be through no fault of me not wanting it. I want to put the record straight.”
Quigg and Yefimovych clash on a stacked bill in Monte-Carlo topped by a pair of World title battles with Russian destroyer Dmitry Bivol making the first defence of his WBA Light-Heavyweight strap against Australian Trent Broadhurst while Jamie McDonnell and Liborio Solis return to Monte-Carlo for a rematch for McDonnell’s WBA Bantamweight crown and Agit Kabayel defends his European Heavyweight title against Londoner Dereck Chisora.
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