Boxing: Skelton has the bulk and skill to shock Chagaev

Matt Skelton is not sure if he is fighting the worst heavyweight champion in the sport's history or the saviour of a desperate division in Dusseldorf tonight.

Skelton, meanwhile, has been portrayed as the latest skilled challenger for one of the four heavyweight belts and also as a meaningful contender for a title that was once considered sports' golden prize.

Ruslan Chagaev is the man causing Skelton confusion and it is understandable that so few people have a clear idea of just how good or bad the World Boxing Association heavyweight champion really is.

"Chagaev boxed in two Olympics, won the amateur world title twice and conceded a foot and five stone and still beat the so-called best champion out there," said Skelton.

"But, I keep hearing that he's nothing special. I know I am fighting away from home, against an unbeaten southpaw but I am not going in there for the pay day like so many recent challengers.

"To be honest, it's not much of a pay day – this fight is about opportunity," insisted Skelton who is the Commonwealth Champion and gained sweet revenge for his only defeat in 22 fights when he beat Danny Williams in 2006.

At present, the four recognised world heavyweight champions come from Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. Nigeria's Samuel Peter holds the interim version of the World Boxing Council title, because the champion Oleg Maskaev was forced to withdraw from a couple of fights last year. Maskaev and Peter will finally fight next month.

Skelton is one of the very best challengers for a long, long time and deserves his opportunity tonight, and he has a chance. Too many people think that Skelton has nothing but bulk on his side but in several fights the man from Bedford has used his boxing skills brilliantly and that is the only way to beat Chagaev.

Chagaev would be a far bigger star now had his unification fight with the World Boxing Organisation's incumbent Sultan Ibragimov last October not been postponed when Chagaev revealed he had hepatitis B.

Skelton is fighting the best heavyweight in the world tonight and a win would be quite incredible, but he has the skills to somehow pull off a major shock.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss