Matt Skelton bigraphy, stories - British boxer

Matt Skelton : biography

23 January 1967 -

Matt Skelton (born 23 January 1967 in Bedford) is an English boxer who changed sports from kickboxing. He is a former IKF International Kickboxing Federation Pro Muay Thai Super Heavyweight World Champion, and a former English, British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight champion. He has also held the lightly regarded WBU "World" Heavyweight title.

Career

  • Kickboxing
    • IAMTF World championship Super Heavyweight winner
    • IKF-PRO World Super Heavyweight Champion
    • WKO Muay Thai World Super Heavyweight Champion
    • IKO World Heavyweight Champion
    • 2000 K-1 UK Battle of Britain winner
    • 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix in Melbourne runner up
  • Boxing
    • English Heavyweight champion
    • British Heavyweight champion
    • Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight champion
    • EBU European Heavyweight champion
    • WBU World Heavyweight champion
    • Prizefighter Finalist

Biography

Skelton did not become a professional boxer until fairly late in life, his first fight being at the age of 35. Prior to this he had been a professional kickboxer.

Kickboxing

Skelton has a kickboxing/muay thai record of 63-8/57. He won the International Kickboxing Federation IKF World Title when he stopped Jeff Ford (USA) at 1:51 of the second round in Northampton, England on 26 November 2000.

In his first defense of the IKF World Title on 18 November 2001, in Northampton, England, he defeated Peter Varga (Hungary) by TKO at 53 seconds of round 3.

Skelton, in a K-1 primary tournament K-1 WORLD GP 2001 in Melbourne in Australia, 16 June 2001, knocked out Paris Vasilikos (Greece) at 2:05 of the first round in the quarter final match. And he also beat Michael McDonald (Canada) by third round decision (3-0) in the semi-final match. He was beaten, however, by Ernesto Hoost of the Netherlands by a third round decision (2-0) in the tournament final.

Skelton's record in K-1 is ten wins and seven losses.

During his time as kickboxer and muay thai fighter, Skelton trained with the well known Eagles Gym under the highly regarded and respected Nigel Howlett.

Professional wrestling

Skelton has competed in one shoot-style pro-wrestling bout - a loss to Kazuo Yamazaki for Akira Maeda's Universal Wrestling Federation on 10 January 1989 at Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan.Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 23 January 1989

Mixed martial arts

Matt Skleton has had one Mixed martial arts fight. On 3 November 2001, at a Pride FC event named PRIDE 17, he lost via choke to wrestler Tom Erikson at 1:11 of the first round.

Boxing

As a professional boxer, he was initially dismissed by purists as an unrefined slugger lacking the required skill to achieve at the very top, but his powerful style has proved extremely successful under the tutelage of renowned trainer Frank Maloney.

He turned pro aged 35 in September 2002 with a two round KO of Gifford Shillingford. From this point he was moved along quickly, in 2003 scoring stoppages of respected veterans Jacklord Jacobs, Antoine Palatis, and ex-British champ Michael Holden, among others.

In 2004, he took his first serious step up, at 11-0 taking on ex-British and Commonwealth champion Julius Francis, who he outpointed over 10 rounds. He won the British and Commonwealth titles in his next fight, stopping Michael Sprott in 12 rounds, and defending the titles against the durable Keith Long, who he stopped in 11.

In 2005, Skelton won the lowly regarded WBU belt with a 6th round knockout of Fabio Moli. Skelton soon vacated the belt, and began to enjoy a higher profile when his promoter Frank Warren took all his fighters to ITV for exposure on terrestrial free-to-air television.

Skelton was due to defend his British title against his main rival Danny Williams in July 2005, but Williams pulled out at the last minute citing a case of the flu, a decision that prompted scorn from Williams' promoter Frank Warren. Skelton stopped late sub Mark Krence in 7 rounds, and scored a 1st round knockout of John McDermott to finish the year, whereupon he vacated his British title, having defended it three times.

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