Boxing: Commonwealth title fires Skelton world ambition
Monday 10 July 2006
Matt Skelton started to box when he was 35, and on Saturday - at the age of 39 - he won the Commonwealth heavyweight title. In 12 months' time he hopes to be a world champion - and a carpenter.
Skelton avenged his only loss in 19 fights with a points decision over 12 often gruelling rounds against Danny Williams at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, and immediately created a heavyweight precedent when he announced his future plans.
"I've always wanted to be a carpenter," Skelton insisted. "I hope to get a world title fight but I will probably be learning how to use all the carpentry tools two or three times each week at college. There is nothing wrong with being a carpenter."
Before turning to professional boxing as a way of making a living, Skelton fought on the K-1 circuit of full contact fighting in Japan and since turning professional he has refused to boast, belittle any of his opponents or respond to the many insults that other fighters have thrown his way.
"He's a nice guy. He opens the doors for old ladies. What is there to dislike about Matt? He beat me, he was the better fighter on the night," admitted Williams, who once again in an important fight went through the motions in too many crucial rounds.
Williams did enough in February to win a split decision but started far too slowly and cautiously on Saturday and at a career-high 20st 8lb was often an easy target for Skelton to hit from a safe distance.
In the other main attraction, theOlympic silver medallist, Amir Khan, moved to eight fights unbeaten as a professional with a second-round stoppage of Scotland's Colin Bain. Khan, 19, will fight next in his home town of Bolton on 2 September.
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