sports gazette

Bradley Skeete retains British welterweight title against Shayne Singleton

Published: 2 Jun 2017

Bradley Skeete silenced social media critics with a stoppage win against Shayne Singleton to retain his BBBoC British welterweight title at the Brentwood Centre in Essex.

In the build up to the fight, Skeete mentioned in an interview his belief that he was world class, something that did not go down well with Singleton, his supporters and other general boxing fans.

Though the win and opposition were never going to confirm his world class status, Skeete continued to show his evolution as a boxer from the man who many complained would box them to sleep.

This was Skeete's second defence of the Lonsdale belt having successfully defending against John Thain in November 2016, eight months after he beat Sam Eggington in March 2016 to win the belts.

Before the night there was some doubt as to whether the fight would take place as it was in fact the fifth date for the welterweight title showdown.

The original date was scheduled for October 2016 but was pushed back a month and then moved to May after Singleton sustained an injury in a warm-up fight.

They were then moved around the May cards by Frank Warren before the Brentwood Centre show was confirmed.

Changing the dates led to some bad blood and it all came to a head at the weigh in when a foul-mouthed argument broke out between the two boxers and their camps.

The bout started slowly as both boxers took their time to size each other up, testing their punches. But it was the challenger, Singleton, who took the first round working the body well restricting Skeete to his jab.

Singleton continued to show he was not just making up the numbers in the second round, worrying Skeete with some good body shots before the champion landed a few replies to close off the round.

As the fight entered the third round, many had Singleton ahead and winning both the first two rounds. But then Skeete took control.

After easing his way into the fight and taking his share of shots, Skeete’s power grew and like his fight against Eggington in 2016, he began to unleash his fury, downing Singleton on the bell.

Smelling blood, Skeete committed himself to the finishing the fight in the fourth but Singleton refused to go down without giving it his all and connected with good combinations.

As the round went on, however, Skeete regained control and dropped Singleton again with a good right hand. The challenger got up but faced Skeete’s fury again, taking a combination to the head well as the bell stopped Skeete from finishing it there.

Singleton ended the fourth round taunting the fact that his opponent could not finish him off but was left eating his words just 15 seconds into the fifth.

Skeete cornered Singleton and unleashed 15 unanswered punches before referee Marcus McDonnell intervened and ended the fight.

Up next for Skeete is a mandatory defence against Dale Evans, which must take place before September. And if he succeeds in that, Skeete will no-doubt have his eyes set on the world stage.

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