Erik Skoglund participated in the World Boxing Super Series when he met #2 seed Callum Smith in the quarter-finals last year.
With the super middleweight final expected to be announced this weekend, Skoglund gave his views on his old foe squaring off against George Groves for the Ali Trophy.
“It depends on who’s game plan comes together. I think both guys are very serious athletes who will prepare themselves in the best possible way,” Skoglund exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I think both of them will scout each other and whoever comes up with the best game plan, will win.”
Groves had a tough road to a world title, losing to Carl Froch twice possibly being the biggest disappointment. Skoglund dove into the history of the WBA Super champion in order to assess his chances.
“I know and respect both guys, George Groves had some really tough opponents before, he had two losses against Carl Froch and that was really hard for him, especially the second one.
“The first one he called it a robbery when it was waved off and I can understand that it was doubtful. The second one when he was down and out after all the talk before the fight I understand it was really hard for him to accept.”
Since bouncing back with two wins to secure another world title shot against Badou Jack and eventually capturing the title against Fedor Chudinov, Groves is in the form of his life late in the day.
“Then there was the doubtful loss against Badou Jack which was hard for him to handle, he was dropped in the first round and had to get back up and continue fighting.
“It was a close fight but he fell short. (You could say) It’s time for him now, in one way.”
Skoglund lost to Smith on points in Liverpool to bow out of the tournament, but the Swede had nothing but praise for his former opponent.
“Callum Smith is a true hard working talent, I’m sure he will be world champion one day, if its the final against George Groves or if it’s later, we will see. But both are good athletes and it should be a great fight.”
With Shane McGuigan in his corner, Groves executed an impeccable game plan in his last fight against Chris Eubank Jr., with Skoglund believing ‘The Saint’ will have a much tougher time repeating the feat against Smith.
“I think its hard for him to do that. Callum is a big guy, he’s much bigger than he looks and George, as he did against Froch, leaves a big dangerous gap over his left cheek – which is something he’s never stopped doing.”
“That won’t work against Callum, he will put him to sleep if he keeps doing that. If he can’t land that big shot I think it will be hard for Callum to win on points over George because he’s a good boxer and a smart one.
“He’s been in there with the best and lost a few times which he learned a lot from. So I’m not sure who wins. I can just speculate – we’ll have to wait and see.”