Serial belt collector Bradley Skeete believes 2018 will finally be the year when he adds the major international straps to his already impressive haul.
It is a measure of the super skilled 6ft 1in welter belter’s soaring self-belief that - despite hoovering up Southern Area, English, Inter-Continental, British, Commonwealth and WBO European gongs – he remains unfulfilled.
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The world 147lb playground is presently among the roughest in the sport with uber talents such as Crawford, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence all parading menacingly. But, now 30, the sleek and silky south Londoner – beaten just once on a wafer-thin decision to ex world amateur champion Frankie Gavin in 28 pro starts over the past eight years – is keen to test his considerable skills in that company.
‘Look, Crawford was originally a lightweight and is yet to fight at 147. (WBC emperor) Thurman was taken very close by Danny Garcia so I’d have a chance. He’s suddenly not stopping guys since he’s moved to top class,’ assesses Skeete who is mentored by Alan Smith at the iBox gym in Bromley.
‘For me, (IBF boss) Spence is the best one. He’s got it all; can box, fight, punch. I love the way he breaks quality fighters down.
‘But it’s my dream to be involved in these big fights, to taste the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas. Ideally, given the calibre of the current champions, I could do with another year’s seasoning but if I was offered any of them tomorrow, I’d be an idiot to say ‘No’’.
Tooting-born Skeete is already primely placed inside the top dozen within the WBC, IBF and WBO rankings but is yet to crack the WBA listings where pending foe Lajarraga is nestled in eighth spot, having won 24 straight with 19 wins by stoppage.
‘(Argentina’s WBA king Lucas) Matthysse is arguably the weakest link at world level – he’s perhaps A minus where Crawford, Thurman and Spence are A plus champs – so beating Lajarraga convincingly is my route to him,’ claims bad Brad.
‘If I could acquire Lajarraga’s WBA ranking as well as the European belt, that would be fantastic. Though Lucas can seriously whack, Danny Garcia showed he can be comfortably out boxed.
‘The secret is staying away from Matthysse’s power; using my brain, my physical attributes and skills to keep it long and frustrate him. Make him eat my jab. He’s definitely beatable.’
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