By Terence Dooley
Genting Arena, Birmingham - It was all sweet for London’s Bradley Skeete (146lbs) tonight as he weathered a bit of a late storm to take the British and Commonwealth welterweight titles from Stourbridge’s Sam Eggington (145½Lbs), who was out-boxed early and could not close his man down late on to close the deficit.
The name Bradley Skeete conjures up images of a jazz performer doing his work at 4:37am in some smoke-filled basement club, and the 28-year-old waved his left about like a big band conductor in the early going to build up a sizeable lead.
Disconcertingly for Eggington, his opponent worked well within punching range, so one would have expected the champion to break through and wear his man down.
It wasn’t to be, though, as Skeete resumed his boxing in the final round to seal the deal and add the belts to his trophy cabinet.
Sky’s Jim Watt had Skeete a 116-112 winner; scores of 117-112, 116-113 and 115-113 confirmed the away day victory for the new champion.
Skeete moves to 23-1 (10 early), he was ecstatic when speaking to Sky Sports.
“It means the world to me to the get these belts,” he said.
“I thought I did enough to win. I knew I had to up it, especially being in Birmingham. For 10-weeks, I just had Sam on my mind. It was wicked. Respect to Sam.”
Skeete had words for former mentor Dean Powell, the former matchmaker, manager and all-round boxing man who lived, breathed and loved the sport.
“This is dedicated to Dean Powell, I want to dedicate this to him,” he added.
Eggington drops to 17-3 (9 KOs). A defeat is not the end, not anymore—Eggington can learn from this, move on and come back into title contention.
He said: “I had it close, but I’m in the ring, it is what it is—we’ll see what comes next. My bravery got ahead of me in the middle of the fight, I was walking in and taking shots on my forehead for no reason.”
“Sam wanted to take the fight, we’ll regroup and come again, he’s got a huge future,” said Eddie Hearn. “He’ll have a rest then get straight back into title action.”
Skeete Vs. Frankie Gavin II, anyone?
Khalid Yafai (114¾lbs) added the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Super flyweight title to a haul that includes the British, Commonwealth and IBF Inter-Continental belts by hammering Nicaragua’s former world title challenger Dixon Flores (114¼lbs) in a single stanza.
A delayed effect knockdown in round one set the scene. A sickening left hook to the body folded Flores (now 14-4-2, 4 early) and left him in a bad way. He was counted out at 1:49 of the round by referee Terry O’Connor as his 26-year-old opponent celebrated a crushing win.
The 21-year-old visitor went five rounds with Mexico’s WBC title-holder Carlos Cuadras last year, his only other stoppage defeat, but he had no response when under heavy fire from the ruthless Brummie.
“I saw the opening and took it,” said Yafai (18-0, 12 KOs) when speaking to Nick Halling of Sky Sports. “I was (expecting a tougher fight). “I was on a mission to make a point and make a real statement, no other British Super fly is going to fight me next. Get me [WBA holder Kohei] Kono, man.”
“We want it,” added promoter Eddie Hearn. “That was a brutal performance, we want the world title next.”
“This is dedicated to my mother,” said Yafai, who, along with brother Gamal, gave her an early Mother’s Day present.
Gamal Yafai (122lbs) set up a Yafai family double at Birmingham’s Genting Arena earlier tonight by flooring Lincoln's Bobby Jenkinson (121lbs) twice en route to winning the Super bantamweight Commonwealth crown.
Former titlist Jenkinson, 24, hit the canvas in rounds six and seven before referee Terry O'Connor waved it if off to hand Yafai his ninth win, four early, and first title.
The win moved the 24-year-old closer to contention for bigger titles, his brother is moving into world title contention in the Super flyweight category and the local men could help Birmingham’s burgeoning boxing scene continue to grow and flourish.
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