BRADLEY ‘SUPER’ SKEETE fulfilled a lifelong ambition and joined an exclusive club of British boxers last night after successfully defending his British welterweight title for the third time and securing the coveted Lonsdale Belt for keeps.
Having already made two defences of the title, The Keen Group sponsored champion stepped into the ring at Copperbox arena to face Dale Evans as the overwhelming bookies favourite to retain his title and claim the belt as his own.
Challenger Evans also had additional incentive to prise the belt from the champions grasp, having pledged to do all he could to win in honour of Mike Towell, who died shortly after their fight in September last year.
With so much at stake it was perhaps hardly surprising that the fight proved a quite cagey affair. The significantly taller champion was content to sit well within the comfort zone of his attributes, pinging out jabs and the occasional right hand for the majority of the contest, without over-committing.
For his part, Evans, despite a few moments of early promise, particularly in the 4th, looked to bob and weave to close the range before throwing a right hand over the top in the hope of catching Skeete napping.
However, like many before him, he was largely unable to get close enough to Skeete to do any damage. And when he did, ‘Super’ simply danced away, often leaving the Welshman punching air.
All-in-all, it might be fair to say that both fighters have probably had harder sparring sessions. And, after 12 rounds of a largely one-sided affair, the South Londoner had his hand raised in victory by wide margins on all three judges score cards.Reflecting on the fight, Evans may well have woken up today and kicked himself for not going for broke. Whilst Skeete might think that he should have given his opponent a little less respect. But that is easy to say in hindsight.
Now ranked third by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO), Skeete will be hoping to secure a shot at newly crowned champion Jeff Horn. But, with Horn potentially required to fulfil an agreement to rematch Manny Pacquiao – who he recently defeated for the title – it is possible that the Penge puncher will either keep busy by defending the British title again or pursue a shot at the European Crown.
Another possibility is that the WBO could order a final eliminator between Skeete and Lucas Matthysse for the right to meet the winner of the Horn – Pacquiao rematch, if that fight does indeed take place.
PHC hopes to catch up with Bradley in the coming weeks to discuss his career to date and future plans