Boxing


Skelton - Williams: Skelton Wins Unanimous Decision Over Williams

08.07.06 - By Ronan Keenan: In a bout that failed to live up to the expectations from their first meeting, Matt Skelton became the number one heavyweight in Britain by winning a unanimous points decision over a lethargic Danny Williams on Saturday.

The sizeable crowd at Cardiffís Millennium Stadium didnít get the frantic action that featured in the original Skelton-Williams battle. Nonetheless, Skelton, 20-1 (18), wonít mind, as he is now in line for a shot at Nicolai Valuevís alphabet title. Conversely, Williams, 36-5 (29), showed little urgency and seemed sluggish throughout the twelve rounds, possibly because he weighted in at a whopping 288lbs, which was over twenty pounds above his usual fighting weight.

The 39 year old Skelton began the bout by abandoning his usual mauling style, and instead used lateral movement and quick combinations to build up a sizeable points lead over the first half of the bout. Williams seemed surprised by his opponentís tactics, and had no answer to Skeltonís jab, only throwing one punch at a time.

During the first six rounds, Skelton refused to engage in close-quarters exchanges, and quickly moved away from the ropes whenever Williams decided to lunch an attempted attack. There was little power in Skeltonís punches, but he was landing numerous combinations, while Williams plodded around the ring, without a sense of desperation. The Mike Tyson conqueror was able to sustain an attack from the seventh round, but it was too little, too late.

If Williams, 33, deliberately came into the ring at such a high weight, as he said he did, then he should have been pressuring Skelton from the first round. By carrying 288lbs, he was never going to be effective in the later stages of the bout.

Williams did do his best work in the later stages, but that was due to Skeltonís willingness to engage in close-quarters action. The bout got extremely scrappy from the eight round on, with referee Howard Foster having to separate the fighters on too many occasions. Nonetheless, this suited Skelton, who had already amassed a considerable points lead.

The eleventh was Williamsí best round. He landed a flush right on to the head of Skelton, but the former K-1 fighter took the shot well and was never in trouble. Williams attempted to launch a sustained attack, but instead his wild swings caused him to fall embarrassingly onto the canvas. Skelton was content to frustrate the Londoner in the final round with more holding, and when the bell sounded to end the bout there was no doubting the victor.

Judges John Keane and Terry OíConnor scored the contest 117-112, while Paul Thomas saw it 115-114, all in favour of Skelton.

This was yet another lacklustre performance from Williams, who seems to crumble every time he is favorite to win a major fight. This loss was made all the worse when Skelton later revealed that he was fighting with a fractured right hand and that he had not sparred for four weeks before the bout due to a cut sustained in training.

Skeltonís promoter Frank Warren stated that formal negotiations with the Russian Valuevís management will begin on Monday. If nothing else Skelton will provide a stern test for the ĎBeast from the Eastí, but his win on Saturday was tainted somewhat by Williamsí lazy approach.

Also on the card, highly touted lightweight prospect Amir Khan has a relatively easy workout against the light-punching Colin Bain, 9-2-1 (0). Khan used his blistering hand speed to perplex the tense Scot, and a blistering barrage in the second persuaded the referee to halt the bout. Khan now improves to 8-0 (6), and says that he would like to showcase his skills in America in the not too distant future,

Cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli earned the most impressive win of his career by knocking out the highly durable former world titlist Marcelo Dominguez. The bout was a gruelling affair that was fought primarily on the inside, with the Welsh prospect unable to use his height and reach advantages. However, from nowhere Maccarinelli, 24-1 (18) displayed his extraordinary
power by unleashing a devastating uppercut to floor the Argentinean in the ninth, thus handing Dominguez the first stoppage loss of his career.

In other action, super lightweight Souleymane M'baye, 34-1 (19), scored a fourth round stoppage of former Laszlo Komjathi, 24-12-1.

All questions/comments welcomed at: keenanboxing@hotmail.com

Article posted on 09.07.2006



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