Boxing

UK Heavyweights Matt Skelton And Martin Rogan To Meet In February

08.01.09 - by James Slater - A fight that could well turn into a crowd pleasing affair takes place in Birmingham, UK on February 28th, when big men Matt Skelton and Martin Rogan collide in a Commonwealth title clash. Set to fight at The National Indoor Arena on the 28th, European and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Skelton and the unbeaten Rogan will be expected to give the fans a good night..

Skelton, one of the most durable-looking world ranked heavyweights out there, may not be pretty to watch in the ring, but he is incredibly strong - both mentally and physically - and he is a hefty man at approx 250-pounds. Rogan, who last time out all but finished off what remained of Audley Harrison's disappointing career, will be giving away a lot of weight at approx 228 (both men stand the same height at 6'3"), but he is a gutsy fighter who always gives it everything he has.

41-year-old Skelton, 22-2(19) spoke about the upcoming fight.

"Rogan is a dangerous fighter and I was impressed by the way in which he dug deep against [Audley] Harrison," Skelton said. "Anyone with an undefeated record is a threat because they don't know how to lose. But I believe I will win this fight.

"When I lost to [WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan] Chagaev people asked me whether I would quit, but I feel better than ever and I think that I'm still improving. That fight in Germany against Chagaev showed me that I can compete at the highest level and I'm not out of place on the world scene."

Skelton did indeed do himself proud against the unbeaten Chagaev, taking the defending champion the full 12 rounds; making the fight competitive all the way back in January of 2008. A series of injuries kept Matt out of the ring for much of last year, but in December, in Italy, he smashed his way to the European title. Stopping defending champ Paolo Vidoz after 9 rounds, with the Italian opting to stay on his stool, Skelton pulled off a fine win.

"Winning the European title in Italy against an Italian surprised a few people, but it didn't surprise me because I'm always very confident in my ability," Skelton said proudly.

Undoubtedly, Skelton has the edge over Rogan in size, weight and - most importantly, experience, but the Irishman can not be written off. Though he too is no spring chicken at age 37, Rogan is the fresher man, having only had 11 pro fights (5 KO's). He may lose the fight if it becomes a grappling, ugly affair, but Rogan specialises in giving his fans exciting fights. If he can dictate the pace and get his own punches off while avoiding any physical rough-stuff, Rogan may have a chance of winning. Matt is the favourite for me, however.

In what this writer feels will be anything but a dull encounter, look for Skelton to use his greater strength and experience to come away with a points win.

Article posted on 08.01.2009



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