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Summary

  1. Callum Smith beats Sweden's Erik Skoglund by unanimous decision
  2. Briton knocked Skoglund down in the 11th round at Echo Arena, Liverpool
  3. Goes through to World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight semi-finals
  4. Smith unbeaten in 23 fights; Skoglund's first defeat

Live Reporting

By Alex Bysouth

All times stated are UK

Until next time...

We're going to leave it there for the night, but stay across the BBC Sport website to catch up on action from the boxing world in the early hours of the morning from London to Las Vegas.

Billy Joe Saunders is set to defend his WBO middleweight title against Willie Monroe Jr, and victory for the Brit could set up a potential unification bout with the winner of the Vegas showdown between Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.

Plenty to whet the appetite. We'll catch you next time...

'I hope Callum brings home the trophy'

Smith wins by unanimous decision

Erik Skoglund was full of praise for Callum Smith after the Brit inflicted his first professional defeat.

"I fell short in the first round," said the Swede. "I guess the better man won. Huge respect to Callum, I wish him all the best in the tournament and I hope he brings home the trophy.

"Maybe I can put myself in a position for a rematch in the future, you never know."

'I feel I can win the tournament'

Smith wins by unanimous decision

Here's Callum Smith: "It's a good win against a good opponent, I knew it was going to be tough. He was big, he was strong and I knew I needed a good performance to beat him.

"Apart from one or two rounds, I felt comfortable. I knew I was the better technical boxer. I've just beat a good boxer on the back foot using my skills.

"I'm unbeaten, I'm still in the tournament which I feel I'm good enough to win.

"I have been out of the ring a long time. Before I was waiting for a world title fight, it was 12 good rounds against a good fighter.

"I'll benefit a lot from it and it will stand me in good stead for the test coming up."

Callum Smith
Getty Images

Smith wins by unanimous decision

It's a unanimous decision... 116-112, 117-110, 117-111 say the judges.

And on to the World Boxing Super Series semi-finals, from Liverpool, England, goes Callum Smith!

That's 23 fights unbeaten now for Smith, who will face the winner of Jurgen Braehmer and Robert Brant next.

Smith v Skoglund

Callum Smith is wiped down, Erik Skoglund is too after Smith cut the Swede in the 11th round.

There's bloodied faces on both sides. But whose arm will referee Ian John Lewis be lifting?

Round 12

Smith v Skoglund

The fighters embrace before the final round. Three minutes to make the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series.

Erik Skoglund looked to be gone a few moments ago, but he's back in this now and there is still work to do for Callum Smith.

The Liverpudlian is keeping his distance, staying patient. I reckon he thinks he's got this bar a disastrous final round.

Now Smith ups the intensity, a right hand knocks Skoglund back a little, but the ferocious Swede comes back at Smith once again knowing he has to do something to win.

That's the bell, though. It looks to be Smith's.

Round 11 - Skoglund survives round

Smith v Skoglund

Erik Skoglund is in big trouble.

Callum Smith has him pinned against the ropes and is picking his punches. Can the Swede recover from this?

He skips to the left, then to the right and attempts to go on the hunt himself in the closing seconds.

Smith knows he can be patient. He fizzes in a thundering left to the body, but this is going to a final round.

Erik Skoglund
Getty Images

Round 11 - Smith puts Skoglund down

Smith v Skoglund

Callum Smith is cut below his left eye. He'll need to protect that in these final two rounds.

It's the Brit who is landing more punches, picking off Erik Skoglund as the Swede tries to force the fight.

He's rocking now, Skoglund... and he's down. He takes a knee. That's seven, eight. He's back up, but Smith is on top here. This could be the round.

Round 10

Smith v Skoglund

Three rounds to go then. And this one is increasingly hard to call.

Erik Skoglund resumes that twitching, crouched position as he looks to pounce, but Callum Smith is ready and attempts to counter with a ranging left-hander.

The Liverpudlian draws in the visitor and rattles another shuddering left into Skoglund's ribs.

That left is proving dangerous for the second seed, and this time he catches the forehead of Skoglund as the Swede backs away a little too slowly.

Callum Smith
Getty Images

Round Nine

Smith v Skoglund

Callum Smith's nose is as red as his shorts, but that's not stopping the Liverpool fighter reaching for the front foot in round nine.

He's going after Erik Skoglund, and forces the Swede to duck a winding right-hander before wrapping himself up in Smith's body.

Smith's seeing the target more clearly now, Skoglund is starting to tire a little. Smith senses that and looks to unleash as the seconds tick away, forcing the fleet-footed Swede to scuttle across the ring to safety.

Round Eight

Smith v Skoglund

Callum Smith is the longer, taller fighter. But at the moment it's the brutish grunt of Erik Skoglund that's winning out.

Smith dummies like an All Blacks scrum-half on his right side, before flicking a left at the Swede.

That gives the Brit confidence and he goes on the attack with a solid jab that brings the first meaningful cheer in a round or two from the Echo Arena crowd.

Blows on either side are starting to connect, a fierce jab from Skoglund to Smith's nose before the home fighter responds with a flurry of body shots late in the round.

Erik Skoglund
Getty Images

Round Seven

Smith v Skoglund

Erik Skoglund is jittery, his inked body flickering with every passing second. Legs twitching just as fast as his yellow gloves - he's proving hard to hit for Callum Smith.

The Liverpudlian is just looking to rediscover his range. The big shots are missing, until a right sneaks through.

But that brings a response from the Swede. He scores with a left and Smith is forced on the back foot once again.

Round Six

Smith v Skoglund

Callum Smith looks a little shaken, he nearly left his corner without his gum shield.

Erik Skoglund is looking to land short, fierce punches. Smith's range is longer, but he's not been able to find it so far in the past couple of rounds.

The Swede springs backwards to swerve one such Smith effort, before ducking and dancing forward to counter the Brit.

Smith opens up with a tidy left that pounds the Skoglund body - and that's the bell.

Round Five

Smith v Skoglund

Callum Smith isn't showing a flicker of emotion. The poker-faced Brit steps into round five looking to build on that momentum and intensity.

It's Erik Skoglund who's made a dent on his opponent, though, second seed Smith is desperately trying to cover up but the blood is pouring from his nose.

A big round for the Swede. How can Smith counter? He's not worried about the bloody nose, but it seems to have given Skoglund confidence.

Here comes Skoglund again. Another solid left-hander that Smith feels, he'll need a clean up at the bell.

Round Four

Smith v Skoglund

"Be patient" Callum Smith is told by trainer Joe Gallagher in his corner.

The 27-year-old takes on that advice as he prowls the ring looking for a route inside the Skoglund defence, his gold-tinted gloves tearing forward at any glimpse of an entrance.

And there goes the Liverpudlian with an attack to the Swede's body, before throwing a huge right that pins Skoglund in the corner.

The visitor looks in a little bit of trouble, he holds on to Smith to get a breather. He's blowing heavily come the bell.

Callum Smith
Getty Images

Round Three

Smith v Skoglund

I'm enjoying the light effects at the Echo Arena. Not sure if this is the norm or just part of the World Boxing Super Series package.

In the ring, Callum Smith is making ground on Erik Skoglund, he forces the Swede on to the straps and unleashes a flurry of body shots before his opponent can escape.

Skoglund then steps into a right hand, and that looked like it hurt. The Swede attempts to brush it off and Smith manages to dip off the ropes to avoid it.

Skoglund looked so composed before, he's starting to look a little edgy as Smith cranks up the frequency and power of his shots.

Round Two

Smith v Skoglund

Erik Skoglund has a huge tattoo covering the majority of his back. Is it a sunset? Who knows, but he's looking bright early on and again attempts to get on the front foot.

Callum Smith is biding his time, and pins the Swede up against the ropes with a right hand to the body. Good from the Liverpudlian, and that rouses the home crowd.

Skoglund rallies forward with a winding right, and then swiftly ducks a Smith response.

Skoglund can't move quick enough to get out the way of a big right hand from the Brit, though, and this time it's Smith who's grown into the round.

Round One

Smith v Skoglund

Smith, the World Boxing Super Series second seed, looks to put that long reach to good use early in the first round.

He skips forward and slips one through Skoglund's guard with a quick one-two, but the Swede doesn't look too fazed by that early contact.

He counters with a right, and Smith now knows he's in a fight. Howls from the Echo Arena crowd as Smith goes for the body with a long left-armer, but that just invites more pressure from Skoglund as he sees out the round strongly.

Round One

Smith v Skoglund

That's the bell, here we go.

Smith v Skoglund

Callum Smith is draped in red with a gold trim, Erik Skoglund sporting the blue and yellow of Sweden.

Ian John Lewis will referee this one.

It's World Boxing Super Series quarter-final time....

How they match up

Smith v Skoglund

Smith Skoglund
Reuters

Both Callum Smith and Erik Skoglund weighed in at half a pound under the 168lbs limit.

The 27-year-old Liverpudlian is unbeaten in his 22 fights so far, while 26-year-old Skoglund is 26-0.

Someone's record has got to give.

Smith v Skoglund

It's time for the national anthems, so how about a quick look at how this pair compare?

Smith v Skoglund

"From Liverpool, England..."

Now there's a roar. Callum Smith's name gets the Liverpool Echo Arena bubbling.

Is that a bit of Deacon Blue? "Wages Day" is Smith's choice...

Who needs Eurovision.

Three Little Birds... one Erik Skoglund

Smith v Skoglund

Here comes the contender from Sweden.

"Erikkkkk Skoglunnnd...."

Now what tune does a super-middleweight Swede strut out to? You've got it, a little bit of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds".

Composed as they come. Love it.

Smith v Skoglund

The laser show has started at the Liverpool Echo Arena... I reckon that must mean something's a-cooking over on Merseyside.

It's nearly time to start the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

What next for the winner?

Smith v Skoglund

Talking of the draw...

The winner of of this one will fight whoever progresses from next month's match-up between fellow quarter-finalists Jurgen Braehmer and Robert Brant.

On the other side of the pile, Chris Eubank Jnr faces Turkey's Avni Yildirim in Stuttgart on 7 October, a week before George Groves defends his WBA title against Jamie Cox.

Smith v Skoglund

Jamie Cox here at the Echo Arena to keep tabs on potential future opponent!

Jamie Cox, of course, faces fellow Brit George Groves in the quarter-finals...

'A bit of glamour and showbiz'

Smith v Skoglund

Smith
Reuters

German promoters Sauerland and Ringstar Sports' Richard Schaefer hope the World Boxing Super Series will make a telling mark in the sport.

"It was different to your standard news conference - it had a bit of glamour and showbiz," said Callum Smith about the official draw in Monaco in July.

"We didn't rehearse anything; it was completely random. We were told to have two picks in mind just in case our preferred pick was chosen ahead of you.

"So if (George) Groves had picked Skoglund first, I would have had to go with another fighter."

'It could make me a household name'

Smith v Skoglund

Smith
Getty Images

Callum Smith opens the super-middleweight competition against Sweden's Erik Skoglund in his home city at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

He joins compatriots George Groves, Jamie Cox and Chris Eubank Jr in the tournament, creating the prospect of an all-British final next year.

"I view it as a big opportunity to make a name for myself," said Smith.

"These fights could make me a household name and a superstar in the sport. I believe I'm more than capable of becoming the best in the division and winning this tournament can only help me get there."

The prize...

Smith v Skoglund

Ali
Getty Images

The Muhammad Ali Trophy the two World Boxing Super Series winners will receive was designed by the late Silvio Gazzaniga, who created and designed the Fifa World Cup trophy in 1971.

The two tournaments will boast a $25m prize fund, with the winner of each expected to rake in a haul of $10m in total across the three victories required to land the title.

Boxing does not have the choice of using a penalty shootout to decide any tournament match which ends in a draw on the scorecards, so a quirk in scoring the bouts has been introduced.

Any fight deadlocked on all three cards will see a fourth ringside judge called upon. If their card is also level, the winner of the final round of the bout progresses.

The Champions League of boxing?

Smith v Skoglund

First, to Liverpool... but what is the World Boxing Super Series?

It's been hailed the "Champions League of boxing", with the new event offering a $50m prize fund, a trophy named after Muhammad Ali and its tournament format aims to deliver a flow of easy-to-follow storylines for fans.

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It will run two tournaments, one for cruiserweights and one for super-middleweights. Within each, eight men will compete from a quarter-final stage through to an eventual winner being crowned in each weight category.

Along the way, if a fighter meets an opponent who is currently a world champion, that belt will be on the line.

Quarter-finals aim to be completed by the end of October, semi-finals by the close of February 2018 and winners decided by May.

Welcome...

Saunders v Monroe, Smith v Skoglund

Saunders
Reuters

Things were ticking along fairly quietly in the build-up to Billy Joe Saunders' WBO middleweight title defence against Willie Monroe Jr.

Until Friday's weigh-in...

Suddenly the story became not Saunders, but his seven-year-old son Stevie.

Saunders
Reuters

It's the senior Saunders stepping into the ring tonight at the Copper Box Arena, though, as he looks to edge a step closer to a unification bout with the winner of Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin.

Meanwhile, in Liverpool, there's the small matter of some World Boxing Super Series action as Callum Smith faces Erik Skoglund.

Oh what a feast.

Smith
Reuters