Paul Webb, ringside.
Bradley Skeete (23-1 10KO’s) boxed an almost perfect twelve round’s taking a unanimous decision and dethroning British champion Sam Eggington (17-3 9KO’s) in the process on Saturday evening.
It was the Londoner’s second shot at the title having narrowly lost to Frankie Gavin in 2014, but four wins on the bounce had put him in to the mandatory position.
Eggington started slowly and really struggled to find his range whilst Skeete was landing his jab with ease.
Most of the rounds followed a familiar pattern as Eggington, the aggressor stalked Skeete but for the most part he was chasing a shadow.
The three judges had it 117-112, 116-113 and 115-113, it’s easy to moan about poor scoring but how Terry O’Connor saw five rounds of that fight to Eggington truly baffles me. From ringside I had it 118-110 and most people watching at home had it just as wide.
A nice little sub plot was the fact the two fighters were promoted by rivals Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren. The latter’s right hand man Andy Ayling left the Genting Arena £5000 richer after he won a bet with Eddie’s father Barry.
Kal Yafai (18-0 12KO’s) moved a step closer to a world title shot after an emphatic first round stoppage of Nicaraguan Dixon Flores (12-4-2 4KO’s). The WBA put up their highly coveted Intercontinental belt but a chance to climb the rankings was the real prize on offer.
Flores who went five rounds with WBC champion Carlos Cuadras last year looked totally out of his depth and was dropped early with a left hand. Yafai’s confidence was soaring and after a brief exchange of punches he ripped Flores with a body shot that left the Nicaraguan sprawled on the canvas requiring oxygen.
The younger of the Yafai brothers Gamal (9-0 4KO’s) had a breakout performance ripping away Bobby Jenkinson’s Commonwealth (9-2-1 2KO’s) super bantamweight title in seven round’s.
Both men went toe to toe in the most crowd pleasing fight of the night, Jenkinson who pulled of a big upset to win the title was landing but also shipping a lot of punches in return.
Super bantamweight is a busy division domestically and Yafai has put himself right in the mix.
Marcus Ffrench (12-2 3KO’s) took less than a minute to take Michael Rooney’s (9-1 1KO) unbeaten record and the vacant Midland’s area lightweight title. The 33 year old isn’t known for his power but he is unlikely to have thrown a cleaner right hand than the one that sent Rooney to the canvas.
The MGM trained fighter made it to his feet but he was very unsteady and referee Kevin Parker rightly waived it off.
Karl Wiggins (7-2 2KO’s) lost his welterweight Midlands title on his first defense getting stopped in five by Derby’s Ryan Fields (8-2-1 4KO’s). It was a competitive fight through the first three rounds but it turned in Fields as two knockdowns in the fourth and fifth saw the fight stopped.
It was the second time Wiggins has been knocked out and with his advancing age he may not get another crack at his title.
Several unbeaten prospects picked up wins, Jake Ball (4-0 4KO’s) breezed through Nobert Szekeres (18-48-3 9KO’s) in a round.
Zach Parker KO 2 Jamie Ambler
Luke Keeler PTS Adam Jones
Cello Renda PTS Mike Byles
Jordan Cooke TKO 4 Lee Connelly
Ryan Kelly PTS Lewis Van Poetsch