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Boxing: Skelton - I will benefit from layoff

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posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 03:47 PM
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Matt Skelton believes he can use the three months he needs away from the boxing ring to allow his injured eye to heal to make himself a better fighter.

The 35-year-old knows he still has a lot to learn about the skills of professional boxing, despite claiming the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles in a whirlwind 14-fight winning run since switching from martial arts fighting in Japan 21 months ago.

Skelton overcame a badly swollen and cut right eye to deliver a slugging display of such intensity that former Australian champion Bob Mirovic wanted no more and retired himself, despite the pleadings of his corner, after four all-action rounds at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Saturday night.

The 38-year-old veteran had climbed off the floor in the first and third rounds to take the fight to Skelton and even though the champion, with his eye deteriorating quickly, was blowing badly, the Croatian-born fighter decided he had nothing left to give.

When Skelton looks in trouble, as he did in his previous fight before knocking out Michael Sprott in the 12th round to win the titles, his heart and fighting spirit take over.

He battered the 19st 3lbs Mirovic, who outweighed him by 18lbs, relentlessly throughout the fourth round but was disappointed that he made the fight difficult for himself.


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