News May 2012

Bradley Skeete talks to Livefight


By @John_Evans79

The British welterweight division is heating up very nicely. Without naming every active fighter currently campaigning at 147lbs, you need only glance at the top 20 names in the British rankings to find enough experienced (Colin Lynes and Matthew Hatton) exciting (Lee Purdy and Frankie Gavin) and promising (Ronnie Heffron and Liam Smith) fighters to create an almost endless list of intriguing match ups.

Bradley Skeete belongs in the ‘promising’ category. In fact, he fits in right at the top of that particular group. The 24 year old Londoner is one of the fighters benefiting from the increased exposure and opportunities afforded by the BoxNation television channel and recently produced his most eye catching performance to date when he recorded a highlight reel type first round knockout of Ross Payne. The nature of the victory served as a welcome reminder of Skeete’s potential after he suffered some harsh criticism for what many perceived to be a safety first points decision victory over Laszlo Komjathi in February.

Skeete, 8-0 (3) cuts somewhat of a unique figure on the domestic scene. Standing 6ft 1in tall and possessing the boxing skills to make the most of his physical advantages, he could develop into a very tough puzzle for his rivals to solve.

Livefight recently caught up with Skeete to gauge his opinion on how his career has so far progressed .

LF: Did you go into the Ross Payne fight feeling any extra pressure to look exciting?
BS: No. I didn't feel I had any pressure to look exciting going in to this fight. Since I turned pro I feel I've got better with each fight I've had. I've still not lost a round yet.

LF: Did the criticism that followed the Laszlo Komjathi fight get to you?

BS: It got to me a little bit because I knew I would of got him out of there early if it wasn't for my badly damaged hand I done in the fourth. I still went on to win every round with one hand and only at three days notice.

LF: Although a novice, Payne was unbeaten. Do you think that as you face more ambitious opponents you’ll get more openings and chances to impress?

BS: Definitely. Payne was unbeaten in three so I knew he would come to fight and not just try and survive. As I step up I know the level of opponent will step up so the openings will be there because people will be coming to fight.

LF: In some ways it could be seen as a compliment that people expect so much from you so early?

BS: Yeah I do see it as a bit of a compliment that people expect a lot from me early on in my career. I'm not in a rush though I just want to keep winning well and looking good.

LF: Talking of high expectations, how did it feel when Emmanuel Steward said you reminded him of a young Tommy Hearns?

BS: When my manager Dean Powell told me Emmanuel Steward said that about me I was over the moon. I think that was only after my 2nd fight as well so I would love to know what he thought after this win. Definitely looked like I had the Tommy Hearns power for that knockout!

LF: You’ve fought three times already this year, do you feel like you’re benefiting from the activity?

BS: It’s been great. Since BoxNation has started I've had the chance to box regularly. It definitely benefits young up and coming fighters like me.

LF: Which aspects of professional fighting have you found have complimented your game?

BS: The longer rounds and more time. For my height and reach for my weight it gives me time not to have to rush. I can take my time and pick my shots more.

LF: Conversely, have there been any parts of your style which haven’t worked as well as you envisaged they would? What are you concentrating on improving?

BS: I thought all the inside work I’d need to work on because I'm not used to getting close and fighting like that; that's not my style. I've been getting great sparring to help me out for when the time comes and I have to dig deep and fight on the inside.

LF: Welterweight is a thriving division. What do you make of your younger rivals like Liam Smith and Ronnie Heffron? How do you feel Ronnie has adapted to the professional sport since your amateur encounters [Heffron bested Skeete in the finals of the 2009 ABA’s]?

BS: I think it’s a great division to be a part of. We are all doing really well. Hopefully in the future we can all be part of great fights together. He's [Ronnie’s] adapted well just like I have. One day hopefully we can get it on again so I can put what went wrong last time right.

LF. Thanks Bradley.

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