British welterweight Bradley Skeete (27-1, 12KOs) heads to Spain to take on undefeated Kerman Lejarraga (24-0, 19KOs) at the Bilbao Arena for the vacant European title.
The 30-year-old is taking a huge gamble by traveling over to Bilbao, Spain in search of the European title. Not only because he is fighting away from home for the first time in his career against a noteable puncher but also because he will need to win almost every round convincingly if he is to stand a chance of victory.
Now I’m not suggesting for one minute that the Spanish would ever dream of cheating but results in Spain and Europe in general are always hard to come by for the English. Skeete must not take anything for granted especially when it comes to the politics of scoring boxing.
The Londoner said: “I just want a fair crack at the whip. It’s a vacant title. I’m not the challenger; he’s not the champion. I’m going to his hometown to fight him.”
“I’m sure the judges and referee will be fair and that’s all I ask for. If I go out there, do a job and come home empty-handed because I’ve been cheated, it will be disgusting. But I believe my style will be more than enough to get the win. If I win on points, I will make it convincing. If not, I will win by stoppage.”
‘Super’ Skeete who is known for his slick boxing skills has accumulated 188 rounds in 28 bouts with a knockout ratio of 43% and a combined opponent record of 481-419-28.
Skeete won the welterweight Lonsdale belt outright when he defeated Dale Evans last year. His best performance came against Sam Eggington when he outpointed the former European champion in 2016. The only loss on Skeete’s record came against commonwealth games gold medalist Frankie Gavin back in 2014.
Skeete missed out on a WBO title fight against current champion Jeff Horn but is eager to force his way onto the world stage. He said:
“This opportunity has come up and I’ve grabbed it with both hands. I have to go away from home to fight for this title but that’s fine because it’s what I want to be doing in the future anyway. The level I’m going to be fighting at, my fights are not always going to be at home. I’m just looking at this as a stepping stone for the future.”
His opponent who is fighting in his hometown has a fought 24 times accumulating 97 rounds with a knockout percentage of 79 and a combined opponent record of 397-265-23
The 26-year-olds best performance was against 2016 commonwealth champion Denton Vassell who he stopped in the fourth round a couple of years ago.
Ranked as the No.1 welterweight in Spain Lejarraga is the type of fighter that likes to stay on the front foot and hunt his opponent down. He will look to pressurise Skeete into making a mistake and hope he can connect with a knockout punch.
Skeete has the height and reach advantage over his opponent and will try to box clever on the outside. His jab will be the key so finding his range will be paramount but he needs to throw combinations in threes and fours when on the inside before disengaging.
If Skeete can re-produce the slick boxing skills he showed against Eggington then I believe he will get the job done. Anything less then that and he may well find it difficult to get the decision in Spain. Every shot ‘Revolver’ throws will be cheered weather it connects or not so Skeete needs to be on his ‘A’ game and keep the crowd quiet.
I believe Skeete will produce the goods and outpoint Lejarraga in a clear and dominant display. He may well end up stopping the Spanish prospect in the late rounds.
Good luck Brady Skeete it’s always nice to see a guy from my neck of the woods fighting on big European nights.