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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 July 2006, 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK
Skelton stuns Williams in Cardiff
Danny Williams (left) and Matt Skelton (right)
Skelton (right) proved too elusive for Williams
Matt Skelton out-boxed Danny Williams to relieve him of his Commonwealth heavyweight title in Cardiff.

The fight was a rematch of their brutal February encounter, which Williams won on a split decision.

Skelton went into the fight as a noted brawler but rather than mix it with the bulked-up Williams he jabbed his way to a unanimous points win.

Williams weighed over 20 stone for the fight and rarely managed to catch up with Skelton to use his power.

The new champion was generous in his praise after winning a unanimous points decision.

"I'm not here to rubbish Danny - he is a brilliant fighter," said Skelton.

"He gave me the chance of a rematch but I knew in my heart I could beat him and I wanted to beat him."

Skelton revealed he stopped sparring four weeks ago because of a cut above his eye and added he thought he broke his right hand during the fight.


On the prospect of a world title fight against Nikolay Valuev, Skelton said: "I probably haven't got the finesse of some of those fighters out there but believe I can do it."

Before the bout both fighters were warned about use of the head following some ugly tussles during their first encounter.

And the warning had its effect in a clean first round which Skelton probably shaded.

Skelton - who was briefly warned by referee Howard Foster at the end of the second round for boring in with his head - got on his toes in the third and threw far more punches than the static Williams.

Matt Skelton holds aloft his Commonwealth belt
Skelton now has his name up for a future world title shot

Before the fight Williams predicted he would stop Skelton in the fourth and the champion opened the round with a good left hook and rocked Skelton with a solid straight left 30 seconds later.

But once again Skelton threw more punches and edged the round on the judges' scorecards.

Williams looked less than impressed when Skelton pushed him away at the end of the fifth round.

The sixth continued in the same vein with Skelton throwing more punches and Williams unloading the heavier blows, although he was struggling to connect.

Williams managed to catch up with Skelton in the seventh and pin him on the ropes for a spell.

In the eighth the fight threatened to degenerate into a brawl and the referee warned both fighters in the strongest terms about use of the head.

He also lectured Williams after he caught Skelton with a low blow and as the fight wore on Skelton become more and more cocky, closing the ninth with some show-boating inspired by Sugar Ray Leonard.

Williams just could not pin his man down and when he did catch up with Skelton the Bedford man absorbed Williams' power.

Twice Williams trapped him in the corner in the 10th but Skelton survived and although Williams caught him with a heavy right in the 11th he was well behind on points.

Williams came bullocking out of his corner at the start of the 12th and final round but soon tired and Skelton got on his bike, convinced he had done enough to claim the verdict.

The judges agreed, awarding him the title 117-112, 117-112, 115-114 and sending a delighted Skelton to the canvas for the only time in the night as fell to his knees to celebrate a stunning win.

Valuev downs Beck in quick time
03 Jun 06 |  Boxing
Williams warned by Skelton camp
05 Jul 06 |  Boxing

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