SLICK SKEETE AIMS TO MAKE IT A BELTER
By Frank Warren
Domestic titles are the order of the night when the BoxNation cameras return to the Brentwood Centre this evening.
Bradley Skeete makes his second defence of the British welterweight title against challenger Shayne Singleton, with Lee Markham rematching against Joe Mullender for the English middleweight title.
Bradley is a lovely fella who is improving all the time but, to my mind, he now needs to step it up in a big way.
I make no secret of the fact that Bradley should have moved on from domestic level by now. His rightful place is in big, meaningful fights designed to prepare him for a shot at a world title.
Wanting to win a Lonsdale belt outright is all very well, but it is holding him back and it is expensive. He is levels above the British title so I am afraid people aren’t that fussed about watching someone retain the title in a routine exercise.
The man he beat comprehensively to win the title, Sam Eggington, is now European champion and that tells you all
you need to know.
We are where we are with it though, Brad wants to win his belt and I am sure he will. Unfortunately, fights where the champion is massively odds on to make easy work of the challenger do not belong on a big card as a main event, which is why we moved this fight off the Copper Box bill.
I rate Brad very highly and truly believe he has got the tools to succeed at world level, which is probably why I am a bit frustrated over him being stalled by domestic ambitions.
He is determined to get it done, so hopefully he will have his belt under lock and key at the earliest opportunity so we can then get him the fights his talent deserves.
The other headline contest has been made due to public demand following an epic war at the 02 Arena back in May 2016.
The television viewers didn’t get to see much of it due to the channel Dave only showing the final three rounds, but you pretty much know what you are going to get from Markham and Mullender.
They will get up close and personal right from the off in another one of those fights you could put on a phonebox.
There is another clutch of promising young fighters on the undercard and if I nominate a pick of the litter for you to keep an eye on, I would suggest taking a look at the super lightweight Charlie Driscoll.
The 23-year-old was a top amateur and he has eased his way into the pro game with four straight wins.
What does set him apart is his footwork, which is so nimble that he wouldn’t look out of place on Strictly!
I would also like to wish Jake Pettitt every success on his professional debut. The brother of Lewis, he was another fine amateur and everyone tells me what a good young fighter he is.
In closing I send my congratulations to Matty Askin on his winning of the British cruiserweight title in Cardiff last Friday.
He ventured into away territory to do a job on the home fighter Craig Kennedy – the third unbeaten opponent in a row to come unstuck against Matty.
He did extremely well and I look forward to him returning to the fold with a big fight in September.