Bradley Skeete put on a disciplined performance to outpoint home fighter Sam Eggington and claim the British and Commonwealth welterweight titles in the process at the Genting Arena, Birmingham.
It was boxing ability that won on the night as Bradley Skeete (23-1, 10 KO) put on an excellent performance and simply out-boxed the boxing slugger in Sam Eggington (17-3, 9 KO). It was the jab that would be the pivotal weapon in Skeete’s arsenal as he constantly landed cleanly when he doubled up on the punch, along with some smart footwork on the back foot and kept to a strict game plan.
— Bradley Skeete (@BradleySkeete) March 6, 2016
The early rounds were pretty even and was a case of ‘what you like’ for the judges. Skeete worked behind the jab from the off and found a lot of success with it in the early rounds, damaging Eggington’s nose early as blood constantly gushed out. But Eggington managed to keep close to his Londoner opponent and found success to the body.
It was the middle rounds of the fight where Skeete started to pull away in the British and Commonwealth title contest. The challenger was finding it too easy as Eggington continued to trek forward, but with no head movement or no change or surprise in what he was doing, allowing Skeete to continue to land on the jab and smartly counter and move.
Skeete’s confidence greatly rose going into the seventh round as he ruthlessly embarrassed the champion. Skeete kept his gloves down, chin wide open and showboated with some fancy footwork, making Eggington miss wildly; something which was not appreciated by the Birmingham crowd as they consistently booed the away fighter all through-out the fight.
Despite being out-boxed, Eggington never lost his cool through-out the fight and found success in the later rounds of the fight. Going into round ten the instructions for Eggington from his corner was pretty simple; ‘have a tear up’ was clear to hear from trainer Jon Pegg.
The showboating abruptly stopped when Eggington started to land cleanly to Skeete’s head and managed to create a bit swelling around the right eye of the challenger. The Birmingham man clawed back a couple of rounds in the tenth and eleventh, but it was Skeete that kept his composure in the final round and was able to cruise to the finish.
Skeete won the bout by unanimous decision as the judges scorecards read 117-112, 116-113, 115-113 all in favour to Skeete, and was crowned the new British and Commonwealth welterweight champion.
“This is dedicated to Dean Powell.” said Skeete when talking to Sky Sports, dedicating the belts to his late mentor.
“I cant wait to go to his bench in Greenwich and plonk these on there.”
“It means the world to me to get these belts. I thought I did enough to win against [Frankie] Gavin but that experience took me through to this fight. Sam had a great crowd, I had a great crowd and it was a great, great fight.”
“I got to the seventh, dropped my hands and just started enjoying it. I knew from then it was my fight. It felt like I took it out of him but I had it in my head not to switch off.”
Despite the loss and losing his status as British and Commonwealth champion, Eggington was still in high spirits and was defiant in defeat.
“I had it close but I was in the ring. It is what it is. It’s all experience. I won the British and Commonwealth title and I’m 22. I lost it but I’ll come back.”
“It was a hard fight. We knew Bradley was good but we tried to work round it. It was probably a bit down to me. I thought it was close but I cant moan at the scorecards.”
It was a show where titles changed hands in every title fight on the card, and it was certainly a night to remember for the Yafai Brothers as they both picked up titles in front of their home crowd. Older Brother Khalid Yafai (18-0, 12 KO) claimed the vacant WBA Inter-continental super flyweight title by destroying Dixon Flores (12-4-2, 4 KO) inside one round.
Yafai dropped Flores with one of his first punches as he caught Flores, a former world title challenger, to the side of the head. Moments later the fight was over; a clean punch found Flores’s rib cage and the reaction to the punch told the whole story; Flores collapsed to the canvas in agony and started to roll around on the floor like an injured football player. The referee immediately waved the fight off, giving Yafai the knockout victory.
It is another belt around the waist of Khalid Yafai, but it is the giant leap towards a world title fight that excited him mostly after fight and he soon called out the WBA world title holder, Kohei Kono.
“I was on a mission to make a point and make a real statement, no other British super fly is going to fight me next. Get me [Kohei] Kono man!” said Yafai when speaking to Sky Sports’ Nick Halling,
Younger Brother Gamal Yafai (9-0, 4 KO) proved that he belonged at a higher level by putting on a powerful display against a granite-chinned Bobby Jenkinson (9-2-1, 2KO), claiming the Commonwealth super bantamweight title in the process.
Yafai put on a punch perfect display as he landed several powerful, sharp punches onto Jenkinson’s chin. Jenkinson played his part in the fight as he put on a spirited display against Yafaias many watched and couldn’t believe how the Lincoln man was still on his feet and still ploughed forward.
But it was the end of round six when Yafai had finally worn down his tough opponent enough to drop him. Yafai came straight out of the tracks in round seven as he put a lot of pressure onto Jenkinson and moments later he was on the canvas again shaking his head and expressing that enough was enough. The towel came in and Yafai was crowned the new Commonwealth champion.
Also on the undercard, Markus French (12-2, 3 KO) demolished Michael Rooney (9-1, 1 KO) with one punch, claiming the vacant Midlands Area lightweight title with a first round KO victory.
There was also a new Midlands Area champion crowned in the welterweight division as Ryan Fields (8-2, 4 KO) stopped Karl Wiggins (7-2, 2 KO) in the fifth round.
Light Heavyweight prospect Jake Ball (4-0, 4KO) made it four wins and four stoppages by defeating prosathe experienced Norbert Szekeres with a second round knockout.
Prospects Luke Keeler, Zach Parker, Jordan Cooke, Ryan Kelly and Charlie Williams all progressed in their young careers with victories.
— Bradley Skeete (@BradleySkeete) March 6, 2016