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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 15:35 GMT
British rivals target world shot
By Ben Dirs

Ben Dirs in Vega

The winner of Danny Williams-Matt Skelton on 25 February could fight Russia's WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev.

Williams defends his Commonwealth crown at London's ExCel Arena, but Skelton's British title will not be at stake.

Promoter Frank Warren said: "It's virtually a world title eliminator. I'm talking to Don King and believe we can make a fight with one of his guys.

"I'd like Valuev. But there's nothing around that would faze Danny or Matt."

Williams, 32, is currently banned from fighting for the British title because of his late withdrawal from a scheduled clash with Skelton last July.

This will be a war, toe-to-toe - it could be the fight of the year
Danny Williams
However, Warren said he will attempt to persuade the British Boxing Board of Control to reverse its decision.

Warren said: "We'll appeal to the British Boxing Board of Control and see what happens. But if it isn't for the British title, that doesn't diminish it in any way.

"It's a big fight, with two guys who come to fight and give no quarter. The fans will get one of the best British heavyweight fights for a long time."

Warren also confirmed that Skelton's proposed bout with Wales' Scott Gammer has been shelved.

"With the greatest respect to Scott Gammer, Matt and Danny are looking for bigger and better things," said Warren. "Gammer will get his chance in the future.

"We want the best fighting the best. We've got Joe Calzaghe v Jeff Lacy coming up [in March], and Johnny Nelson v Enzo Maccarinelli. Competitive, 50-50 fights are what I'm interested in doing."

Meanwhile, Williams said he was nearing full fitness after injuring an ankle in his win over Audley Harrison last month.

And the Brixton fighter, who was heavily criticised after his uninspiring match with Harrison, promised fireworks against Bedford's Skelton.

I wouldn't hesitate in getting in with any of the champions out there
Matt Skelton
"For this fight, there will be less talking and a lot more action," said Williams. "This will be a war, toe-to-toe. It could be the fight of the year.

"Against Audley, I didn't train as I should have done because I knew he wasn't up for it."

And Skelton, 38, said he is confident he can make the leap in class and denied there was any bad blood between him and Williams.

"I haven't seen Danny since the last fight was cancelled, but I never bad-mouthed him," said Skelton.

"I don't know why he didn't turn up last time - maybe it was something personal he didn't want to discuss.

"It's a step-up in quality. Danny's got a lot more experience but there's not much between us. I'm not a pretty fighter but I get the job done.

"I wouldn't hesitate in getting in with any of the champions out there. I honestly think I can beat them. It's wide open and a great opportunity."

Williams defeats rival Harrison
10 Dec 05 |  Boxing

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