Skelton finds himself in a Sprott of bother
By Sean Pollock (http://ukcboxing.blogspot.com/)
In a re-match of their two previous 12 round bouts, Michael Sprott finally overcame Matt Skelton, this time at York Hall in a 3 round Prize Fighter final- clinching the £32,000 prize fund.
Skelton had defeated Ali Adams, and then secured a controversial win over Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin McBride to reach the final. Sprott cruised through his first two bouts by unanimous decision, seeing off Danny Hughes and Shane McPhilbin- McPhilbin, in his first quarterfinal, had produced the shock of the night by when he stopped Declan Timlin with some powerful left hooks.
Some accurate boxing from Sprott was the deciding factor in the final, with Skelton pressing for the win in the latter stages, only to come up short with the judges split. After looking comfortable all night and a class above his opposition Sprott was well deserving of the final result.
In his post fight interview Sprott proclaimed,
“We’ll see what happens with Martin Rogan, Audley Harrison and now I’m just waiting to see if I can maybe go for the European title or a world title defence against one of the Klitschkos or David Haye.”
This is certainly big thinking by the heavyweight, at 35, with 15 losses (8ko), can he really achieve his goals?
Sprott has challenged some well known fighters before in the likes of Chagev, Brewster and Harrison- losing all of them. Not only would he be undeserving of a world title shot but probably not a very marketable opponent to world audiences either. He should concentrate on notching up a couple of domestic wins against well known fighters, then possibly challenging for European honours, realistically that is as far as Sprott will go.
The ‘Prize Fighter’ tournament has been known to re-ignite fighters careers, Audley Harrison for example, whilst it is a domestic triumph, does it really hold much substance? The quality of opposition isn’t always of an established level- McPhilibin (2-1-0)- and the 3 round format doesn’t give a true analysis of a fighters current level- you can’t justify winning three, three round fights and then warrant a title shot against future hall of fame candidates like the Klitschko brothers. Besides from being great entertainment and a good opportunity for ‘last chance saloon’ or upcoming fighters, Prize Fighter doesn’t quite certify as the fast track to the top.
…But on a less sour note, we look forward to seeing what Sprott can accomplish with his new found exposure.
Boxing results – York Hall, Bethnal Green, London:
Michael Sprott SD 3 Matt Skelton
Kevin McBride SD 3 Franklin Egobi
Shane McPhilbin TKO 2 Declan Timlin
Michael Sprott UD 3 Danny Hughes
Matt Skelton UD 3 Ali Adams
Matt Skelton UD 3 Kevin McBride
Michael Sprott UD 3 Shane McPhilbin
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