The 24 year-old Swede used his height and reach advantage to good effect, keeping Edwards at range throughout the ten-round contest. Despite trailing on points, Edwards remained a threat as he looked to land his big overhand right.
However, it was Skoglund who came closest to scoring a knockout. An uppercut in the sixth-round sent Edwards to the canvas, but the referee ruled it a slip. In the tenth round, the American was once again in trouble with Skoglund unloading a barrage of punches before the final bell.
The judges scored the fight 100-90, 99-91 and 99-92 all in favour of the home fighter, who expressed his delight at the result.
‘’This was one of his toughest fights of my career,’’ said Skoglund. ‘’Edwards was dangerous throughout the whole fight, but I stuck to my game plan and kept him at a distance.
‘’It was like a dream scenario for me, everything went exactly as we planned. I felt that I was close to getting the stoppage, but he was tough and I couldn’t land the final punch.
‘’This was an important test for me against a World-class fighter, and I think I passed.’’
‘’I was very impressed by Erik performance. He fought the perfect fight,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’Derek is a seasoned professional and he came here to win, but was beaten by the better man.
‘’Now, Erik can take some time off and enjoy his Christmas break, before we get back to business next year. He proved he’s ready for a step up and we will look to deliver him a big title fight in 2016.’’
On the undercard, Swedish Olympian Anthony ‘Can You Dig It’ Yigit (16-0-1, 7 KOs) proved his potential with an impressive performance against former World Champion DeMarcus Corley (42-26-1, 25 KOs), forcing the American veteran to quit on his stool at the start of the fourth-round.
‘’It was a great fight,’’ said the Stockholm fighter. ‘’DeMarcus is definitely one of the best boxers I’ve ever faced, and that was one of the best performances I’ve ever delivered. Next year, I want to continue my progress and fight the best fighters out there.’’