by Shaun Brown
That was the word Bradley Skeete used to describe missing out on a world title fight against Jeff Horn later this year.
The 29-year-old, ranked three by the WBO behind Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao, had hoped to land a fight with their welterweight champion in Australia only to be seemingly pipped at the post by his Queensbury Promotions stable-mate Gary Corcoran.
Skeete (27-1, 12 KOs), the current British champion at 147lbs, is now looking at the consolation prize of a European title shot against Mohammed Mimoune who beat Sam Eggington last weekend to win the title.
"It'd be good of Frank (Warren) and the team at Queensbury Promotions to get me that European title fight, coming off the upset of losing out on this world title opportunity. It'd be nice if they could get that delivered. It would finish the year off nice and then next year we can crack on."
At one stage the thought of fighting for the European title would not have entered Skeete's thinking given how close he was to fighting Horn.
"It was real close to getting done," he explained.
"I agreed all the terms that were set out and was waiting on a contract to be signed. It went a bit quiet for a couple of days and the next thing I heard was he was looking elsewhere. Disappointed with that. Being ranked so high with the WBO I really thought I'd get the chance, but it looks like it's going to Gary now."
And Skeete took the opportunity when speaking to Boxing Scene to wish Corcoran the best of luck against Horn. Skeete had said previously that Horn was taking the easier option in fighting the 26-year-old fellow Londoner, but Skeete wanted to explain to 'Scene what he meant by that.
"It come out that I said he has picked the easier option which was no disrespect to Gary Corcoran," Skeete said.
"Gary's a friend of mine and I have got nothing bad to say about him, and I really hope he gets the fight and goes out there and wins it. When I said he [Horn] picked the easier option I meant that I'm ranked number three with the WBO, I'm ready to fight. And him and his team have decided to look elsewhere. He's looking at an easier option, but Gary isn't going to be an easy option. He's a tough fighter and he's going to go out there to cause the upset and get the win. It's no disrespect from me to Gary. Like I said I wish him all the best and I hope he can win that world title."
"I think, style wise, it's going to be a good fight," he said.
"It's going to be a decent fight to watch. Horn likes coming forward. His rough, tough style suited him against Pacquiao. To be honest I hadn't seen to much of him before the Pacquiao fight. He likes to come forward, likes to be on the front foot and likes to have a war so to speak and that's Gary all over. Seen Gary loads and he has the same style. He likes to be on the front foot, he likes to push his opponents back and go to war. I think it's going to be an exciting fight."
Horn caused one of the upsets of 2017 when he defeated Pacquiao on July 2 in Brisbane. Pacquiao, now 38, was and is coming to the end of his career before the fight took place but was still fully expected to have too much for the challenger whose best win came against Ali Funeka in 2016. It may well have been Skeete who could have been given the opportunity to defeat the modern day legend had things gone his way. Skeete had called for the Pacquiao fight and was adamant he could defeat him.
"People thought I was mad," Skeete said when discussing his calling out of Pacquiao.
"I believe I had the beating of him, and I'm so glad I said it way before he boxed Jeff Horn and he got beat. So, it just proves that I could see he was coming to the end of his career and he wasn't the Pacquiao from 2-3 years ago. I genuinely believed that I could beat him to win that world title. Jeff Horn went and done it and now he's got the title. I look at him as a beatable world champion."
Should Skeete become European champion and begin to mix it at world level in 2018 it won't be long before he becomes mandatory for the WBO welterweight title. After winning the British title outright in 2017, the European crown would make this year one to remember in his career despite missing out on the Horn fight.
Skeete, however, believes that he needs to start getting that experience of fighting the very best, very soon and says he is beyond European level.
"I think I'm past European level, I need to be mixing it in some decent fights at world level before I go and pick that world title up.
Mimoune caused an upset of his own last weekend in Manchester when he beat Sam Eggington to win the European welterweight title. The weight drained champion looked like a shadow of the aggressive, come forward heavy handed fighter who had revived his career after losing to Skeete for domestic honours in March 2016.
Having watched last Saturday's contest Skeete is super confident that he has the beating of the new champion.
"Looking at Mimoune I believe I beat him. No disrespect, but I don't think he's anything special. He got beat by Alexandre Lepelley (in 2013) who I stopped in seven rounds (in 2016) and I wasn't even out of first gear in that fight. I could have stepped it up whenever I wanted and when I did step it up I got him out of there.
"For now, there's no reason for me not to fight for the European title."