THE BIG INTERVIEW – BRADLEY SKEETE
By Richard Hubbard
There are two objectives at the top of Bradley Skeete’s bucket list that he is eager to chalk off at the earliest opportunity.
First is for his quest to win his British title outright to be done and dusted, with the next step in the process coming on Friday night at the Brentwood Centre, where his mandatory challenger Shayne Singleton will be emerging from the opposite corner.
If successful, there will still be another defence to negotiate and Skeete’s plan is to get straight back in the gym and get it booked in as soon as possible.
Once full custody of his belt is secured, ‘Super Skeete’ wants to step it up and turn himself into a headline attraction on British boxing’s newest and biggest platform – the broadcast partnership of BT Sport and BoxNation.
Skeete accepts his determination to dominate the domestic title picture has resulted in him missing out on marquee fights that would have seen him propelled to the forefront of BT’s entry into the sport, but it is a forfeit he is prepared to take on the chin for now as he continues to set about his battle for belt ownership.
“Definitely, when I was in the process of signing a new contract I knew the BT thing was there or thereabouts and I thought it is all coming at the right time, with me having my British title, getting the big exposure and coverage and winning my title outright then, wham, I’m going to be in massive fights on BT.
“It hasn’t worked out that way yet and it is sentimental and not great business for me, but it is the British title and you’ve just got to open the box and look at it. It stares back at you gleaming! I want it to keep and that is just me.
“If you went back and asked the British champions who defended it once or twice, I bet that eats them up. It would me.”
Skeete and Singleton share a common opponent in Sam Eggington, who the Lancashire man was stopped in five against and Skeete comfortably outpointed to win the title.
However, the 29-year-old insists he will not be overlooking his latest challenger, but doesn’t rate his chances of causing an upset.
“Definitely not, this is his world title fight and he knows he’s up against it. He can train as much as he wants, but the best Shayne Singleton don’t beat the best me. No way.
“Take away other fights, I just don’t see what he can do to beat me. He is saying he’s got a way, but he ain’t going to outbox me and he is an idiot if he thinks he can. If he comes to have a fight he will come unstuck, so I don’t know how he thinks he’s gonna win the fight.”
Such fighting talk is not what we have become accustomed to from one of the most popular and politest characters in the British fight game.
“You know what it is, I am sick of his name because the fight should have happened in October and we will be in June. I’m sick of him and his name and just want to move on.”
Moving on – and hopefully up – will involve jumping aboard the BT bandwagon and Skeete has been impressed with what he has seen so far.
“I’ve been watching and with the four shows they have improved with every one. They are just going to get bigger and better I think.
“I’m signed with Frank and, don’t get me wrong, it is great to be part of BoxNation, but the coverage and exposure on BT is going to be great for my career,” he added before setting out his short-term goals.
“By the end of the year I want to have the belt wrapped up and be in a decent fight. To test me and step me up to world level.”
Skeete knows full well that the welterweight world champions are a genuine force, with names such as Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao holding the belts.
Leaping from British title level to such formidable opponents is not a realistic option.
“Listen, I can’t go into those fights off the back of the Singleton fight! I can’t and I would be a fool to think that. That is why it is going to be a process of getting me the right fights after domestic level.
“From Singleton to someone like Thurman is just not on, but that is where training camps come in where you are not working towards a certain opponent, but to the future.
“With me, when I get to world level I want to win the world title and keep it, remaining at the top for as long as I can. So I’ve got to be ready and don’t just want to jump in for the sake of fighting for a world title. Then where do you go? You would become the forgotten man.”
Round 3: Skeete recalls the time when he was told to up his game and become a more fan-friendly prospect