Veteran Heavyweights Martin Rogan and Matt Skelton To Meet In Return, Belfast Nov.12th

By James Slater: When Martin Rogan and Matt Skelton met to decide the Commonwealth heavyweight title in February of 2009, the two put on a great, domestic FOTY candidate. Belfast’s Rogan, on a real roll at the time, won via dramatic 11th-round stoppage, but “Rogie” knew he’d been in a real war. Now, as has been confirmed by BBC Sport, the two will look to do it all over again at The Kings Hall, Belfast on November 12th.

“I hope to put on a show and win in Belfast,” Rogan said. “But I am going to have to work very hard because Skelton will try to grind me down. I’m sure everyone remembers the last time we met. It went down as one of the best British heavyweight fights of the decade.”

Did it ever! The question now is, can the older, possibly slower big men put a show approaching the quality of their first encounter?

“Bedford Bear” Skelton, 25-6(20) is now 44-years-old, while Rogan, 14-2(7) is now 40. Neither guy has been overly active as of late. Skelton last fought in October of last year, when he was beaten by Michael Sprott in the final of “Prizefighter.” Rogan last boxed in November of last year, winning his second fight back after suffering two losses in a row to Sam Sexton. We have no idea how much either guy has left.

Maybe (hopefully), the styles of the two men will see to it that another give and take battle ensues. Both men love a good tear-up, both can punch and take a punch, and both men always give their all in the gym. As old as they are, we can rely on both warriors doing their best to win and to entertain next month.

Back in 2009, Rogan, coming off a “Prizefighter” win of his own as well as an important (at the time) win over Audley Harrison, became the first man to put a dent in the immensely strong Skelton. Big Matt had previously lost only decisions to Danny Williams and Ruslan Chagaev, and the sight of him on the floor in the 11th-round against Rogan was somewhat shocking. Basically, Rogan took Skelton’s best and then wore him down.

Looking like a genuine world title contender, the popular Belfast man lost his next two, however. Did he peak in the Skelton fight?

The loser of November 12th’s fight will pretty much have nowhere to go, while the winner may get one more shot at a big fight. Both guys will know their very careers will be on the line next month.

I think Skelton might be able to dig deep enough to pull off a mightily close points win, thus avenging his first stoppage defeat.

Article posted on 05.10.2011

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