Boxing: Skelton employs old skills to win brawl

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The Independent Online

As expected, Matt Skelton won the inaugural English heavyweight title in an old fashioned brawl with Michael Holden at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham last night.

The fight was stopped after just 32 seconds of round six with Holden leaning back over the ropes and risking toppling on to the ringside seats in an attempt to avoid Skelton's fists. It was never pleasant to watch but it was always amusing. Skelton was having just his eighth fight - and he has now won them all inside the distance - but there are still signs of his past life in the ring as both a kick-boxer and participant in the brutal K-1 circuit in Japan.

The truth is that Skelton does far more things wrong than he does right but he is superfit, 18 stone and he clearly delivers a serious blow from either hand. Last night's performance will not necessarily scare other British heavyweights but it will certainly make them wonder what will happen if he acquires some boxing skills.

"I'm still learning but I believe my career after just eight fights is going better than Audley Harrison's,'' Skelton said. His promoter, Frank Warren, added: "Audley speaks about having a meaningful test but he has had 12 or so fights now and is stuck in eight rounders. I would make the fight between them tomorrow but Harrison will never take it.''