Boxing: Crude Skelton claims world title

Matt Skelton, who lost the Commonwealth heavyweight title, will now have to relinquish the British title but he won the World Boxing Union heavyweight championship at the Wembley Conference Centre last night.

Skelton, 38, started to box just two years ago after a career in the kung-fu arenas of Japan and last night was his 16th straight win and arguably one of his easiest.

Argentina's Fabio Moli held and ran during every second of the six rounds and eventually rescued himself after falling to the canvas for the third time in round six of yet another ugly heavyweight maul.

"People criticise the WBU belt and say it is not a proper world title but it means everything to me," said Skelton.

As soon as Moli signalled that he had finished for the night, Skelton's Commonwealth title became vacant and he now has a week or two to choose between the WBU, which is a sanctioning body that was formed above a flower shop in Bethnal Green and is now run from a bungalow in Norfolk, or the British heavyweight title. He will not be allowed to keep his British title if he opts for the WBU version.

However, what is certain in the increasingly uncertain world of boxing is that Skelton is a nice guy, a huge attraction and one of the crudest fighters in recent years.

Last night he relentlessly pursued the reluctant Moli and by using a variety of elbows, forearms, open-gloved pushes and unconventional right-handers, he was able to thoroughly break his opponent's spirit and heart. The fight was really over before it started but Skelton's fans loved every second of it.

If all goes to plan, the man from Bedford, who picked up his fighting skills in the tough gyms of Tokyo, will meet Danny Williams, who is the best British heavyweight, in June.

There have never been any excuses from Skelton or his management team for his lack of mobility inside the ring. He is, at more than 18 stone, an old-fashioned brawler and, in any fight against either an average or slightly better-than-average boxer, his determination and fitness certainly prove difficult to beat.

"Williams and Skelton will fight but first Williams needs a warm-up in April and then I will sort the money out for both of them," confirmed promoter Frank Warren.

When that happens, and hopefully it will, it will not be pleasing on the eye, but it will be the best all-British heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis beat Frank Bruno in 1993.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral