23 January 1967
|Other names||The Bedford Banger
The Bedford Bear
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||249 lb (113 kg; 17.8 st)|
|Professional boxing record|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Boxing record from Boxrec|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Matt Skelton (born 23 January 1967 in Bedford) is an English boxer who changed sports from kickboxing. He is a former IKF International Kickboxing Federation Pro Muay Thai Super Heavyweight World Champion, and a former English, British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight champion. He has also held the lightly regarded WBU "World" Heavyweight title.
Skelton did not become a professional boxer until fairly late in life, his first fight being at the age of 35. Prior to this he had been a professional kickboxer.
Skelton has a kickboxing/muay thai record of 63-8/57. He won the International Kickboxing Federation IKF World Title when he stopped Jeff Ford (USA) at 1:51 of the second round in Northampton, England on 26 November 2000.
Skelton, in a K-1 primary tournament K-1 WORLD GP 2001 in Melbourne in Australia, 16 June 2001, knocked out Paris Vasilikos (Greece) at 2:05 of the first round in the quarter final match. And he also beat Michael McDonald (Canada) by third round decision (3-0) in the semi-final match. He was beaten, however, by Ernesto Hoost of the Netherlands by a third round decision (2-0) in the tournament final.
Skelton's record in K-1 is ten wins and seven losses.
During his time as kickboxer and muay thai fighter, Skelton trained with the well known Eagles Gym under the highly regarded and respected Nigel Howlett.
Mixed martial arts
As a professional boxer, he was initially dismissed by purists as an unrefined slugger lacking the required skill to achieve at the very top, but his powerful style has proved extremely successful under the tutelage of renowned trainer Frank Maloney.
He turned pro aged 35 in September 2002 with a two round KO of Gifford Shillingford. From this point he was moved along quickly, in 2003 scoring stoppages of respected veterans Jacklord Jacobs, Antoine Palatis, and ex-British champ Michael Holden, among others.
In 2004, he took his first serious step up, at 11-0 taking on ex-British and Commonwealth champion Julius Francis, who he outpointed over 10 rounds. He won the British and Commonwealth titles in his next fight, stopping Michael Sprott in 12 rounds, and defending the titles against the durable Keith Long, who he stopped in 11.
In 2005, Skelton won the lowly regarded WBU belt with a 6th round knockout of Fabio Moli. Skelton soon vacated the belt, and began to enjoy a higher profile when his promoter Frank Warren took all his fighters to ITV for exposure on terrestrial free-to-air television.
Skelton was due to defend his British title against his main rival Danny Williams in July 2005, but Williams pulled out at the last minute citing a case of the flu, a decision that prompted scorn from Williams' promoter Frank Warren. Skelton stopped late sub Mark Krence in 7 rounds, and scored a 1st round knockout of John McDermott to finish the year, whereupon he vacated his British title, having defended it three times.
In February 2006, Skelton finally fought Williams, and lost on split decision handing him his first pro defeat.
In July 2006, he regained his Commonwealth title by easily outboxing Williams.
Skelton was due to defend his title against Audley Harrison in December 2006, but the fight didn't take place.
Instead, the fight against Michael Sprott for the second time was rescheduled for 14 July 2007, in which Skelton defended his title in a 12 round battle.
Matt Skelton faced WBA Heavyweight Champion Ruslan Chagaev on 19 January 2008 in Düsseldorf. Skelton fought bravely, but the superior boxing skills of his opponent were too much, and he succumbed to a unanimous points decision after 12 rounds.
Skelton fought Paolo Vidoz for the vacant European Heavyweight Title on 19 December 2008. Vidoz, exhausted, stopped fighting in round nine, but his corner refused to throw the towel. Skelton, recognizing this fact, refused to knock out the tormented Vidoz and even asked for the referee to quit the match.
Skelton chose to defend the Commonwealth title rather than the European title against undefeated brawler Martin Rogan, who had been completely unknown before upsetting Audley Harrison in his previous fight. On 28 February 2009, Rogan scored another upset by defeating Skelton by TKO11.
On 19 September 2009, Skelton challenged for the EBU-EU title (not the full European title) against undefeated Italian southpaw Francesco Pianeta. Skelton lost the fight after failing to come out for the 9th due to a hand injury suffered earlier in the fight. In January 2010, he lost to Bulgarian top prospect Kubrat Pulev.
In July 2010, Skelton ended his run of defeats when he knocked out journeyman Lee Swaby in round 5. Later in the year he competed in the Prizefighter series where he outpointed novice Ali Adams and Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin McBride before a split decision loss to Michael Sprott, Sprott avenging his losses to Skelton in their two previous encounters.
In December 2010, Skelton was jailed for five months for perverting the course of justice after giving a false name on three occasions when caught speeding in his car.
Skelton did not fight at all during 2011. After being released from prison, he did have two fights scheduled, first a rematch with Martin Rogan in Belfast, which never came off. Neither did a fight against unbeaten German Edmund Gerber.
In March 2012, Skelton pulled off a minor upset with a win over Tom Dallas, effectively ending Dallas's status as a prospect. Dallas struggled badly with Skelton's mauling style and at the end of round 4, Dallas was almost laid horizontal on the ropes as Skelton dropped blows on his head. A similar situation occurred in the following round, which led the referee to stop the fight.
Another win followed in May against journeyman Ladislav Kovarik, who came in at very short notice. The fight was stopped in the third round.
On November 30, 2012 Skelton challenged David Price for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles and lost via second round KO.
Title last held bySinan Samil Sam
|EBU Heavyweight Champion
19 December 2008 – 28 February 2009
Title next held byAlbert Sosnowski
Professional boxing record
|28 Wins (23 knockouts, 5 decisions), 8 Losses, 0 Draws|
|Lose||28-8||John McDermott||PTS||2013-03-15||York Hall, Bethnal Green, England||English Heavyweight Title|
|Lose||28-7||David Price||KO||2 (12)
|2012-11-30||Aintree Equestrian Centre, Liverpool, Merseyside, England||British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Titles|
|Win||28-6||Jakov Gospic||TKO||2 (6)
|2012-10-13||Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside, England|
|Win||27-6||Ladislav Kovarik||TKO||3 (6)
|2012-05-18||Bedford Corn Exchange, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England|
|Win||26-6||Tom Dallas||TKO||5 (8)
|2012-03-03||Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England|
|Lose||25-6||Michael Sprott||SD||3 (3)||2010-10-09||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England||Prizefighter final|
|Win||25-5||Kevin McBride||UD||3 (3)||2010-10-09||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England||Prizefighter semi-final|
|Win||24-5||Ali Adams||UD||3 (3)||2010-10-09||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England||Prizefighter quarter-final|
|Win||23-5||Lee Swaby||TKO||5 (6)
|2010-07-09||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England|
|Lose||22-5||Kubrat Pulev||KO||4 (8)
|2010-01-30||Jahnsportforum, Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany|
|Lose||22-4||Francesco Pianeta||RTD||8 (12)
|2009-09-19||Jahnsportforum, Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany||Lost EBU-EU (European Union) Heavyweight Title Shot|
|Lose||22-3||Martin Rogan||TKO||11 (12)
|2009-02-28||National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, West Midlands, England||Lost Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title
Skelton cut over the left eye in Round 5
Skelton down once in the 11th
|Win||22-2||Paolo Vidoz||RTD||9 (12)
|2008-12-19||PalaLido, Milan, Lombardia, Italy||Won vacant EBU (European) Heavyweight Title|
|Lose||21-2||Ruslan Chagaev||UD||12 (12)||2008-01-19||Burg-Waechter Castello, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany||WBA World Heavyweight Title|
|Win||21-1||Michael Sprott||MD||12 (12)||2007-07-14||O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, England||Retained Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title|
|Win||20-1||Danny Williams||UD||12 (12)||2006-07-08||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales||Won Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title|
|Win||19-1||Suren Kalachyan||KO||4 (8)
|2006-04-01||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England|
|Lose||18-1||Danny Williams||SD||12 (12)||2006-02-25||ExCel Arena, Dockland, London, England||Lost Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title Shot|
|Win||18-0||John McDermott||TKO||1 (12)
|2005-12-10||ExCel Arena, Dockland, London, England||Retained BBBofC British Heavyweight Title|
|Win||17-0||Mark Krence||TKO||7 (12)
|2005-07-16||Bolton Arena, Bolton, Greater Manchester, England||Retained BBBofC British Heavyweight Title|
|Win||16-0||Fabio Eduardo Moli||TKO||6 (12)
|2005-02-25||Conference Centre, Wembley, London, England||Won vacant World Boxing Union Heavyweight Title
Moli down once in the 1st round and down 3 times in the 6th round.
|Win||15-0||Keith Long||TKO||11 (12)
|2004-11-19||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England||Retained BBBofC British Heavyweight Title
Retained Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title
|Win||14-0||Bob Mirovic||TKO||4 (12)||2004-06-05||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England||Retained Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title
Mirovic down twice.
|Win||13-0||Michael Sprott||KO||12 (12)||2004-04-24||Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading, Berkshire, England||Retained BBBofC British Heavyweight Title
Won Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight Title
|Win||12-0||Julius Francis||Points||10 (10)||2004-02-07||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England||Retained BBBofC British Heavyweight Title|
|Win||11-0||Patriche Costel||KO||1 (8)||2003-11-15||Oberfrankenhalle, Bayreuth, Bayern, Germany|
|Win||10-0||Ratko Draskovic||TKO||3 (8)||2003-10-25||Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Win||9-0||Costi Marin||TKO||1 (10)||2003-10-11||Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England|
|Win||8-0||Mike Holden||TKO||6 (10)
|2003-09-18||Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, Essex, England||Won vacant BBBofC British Heavyweight Title|
|Win||7-0||Antoine Palatis||TKO||4 (6)||2003-07-17||Goresbrook Leisure Centre, Dagenham, Essex, England|
|Win||6-0||Dave Clarke||TKO||1 (6)||2003-05-15||Marriott Hotel, Mayfair, London, England|
|Win||5-0||Alexey Varakin||KO||2 (6)||2003-04-08||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England|
|Win||4-0||Jacklord Jacobs||TKO||4 (6)||2003-02-18||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England|
|Win||3-0||Neil Kirkwood||TKO||1 (6)||2002-12-08||York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, England|
|Win||2-0||Alvin Miller||TKO||1 (6)||2002-10-27||Elephant & Castle Centre, Southwark, London, England|
|Win||1-0||Gifford Shillingford||KO||2 (6)||2002-09-22||Elephant & Castle Centre, Southwark, London, England||Professional Debut|
Professional kickboxing record
|63 Wins (57 knockouts, 0 submission, 6 decisions), 8 Losses, 0 Draws|
|Win||63-8||George Arias||Decision||3 (3)||2002-08-10||Ichigelki (promoted by Kyokushin karate)|
|Win||62-8||Peter Varga||TKO||3 (3)
|2001-11-18||Northampton, England||Retained International Kickboxing Federation PRO Muay Thai World Super Heavyweight Title|
|Lose||61-8||Lloyd van Dams||Decision||1 (3)||2001-08-08||Marine Messe, Fukuoka, Japan||K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 in Fukuoka|
|Lose||61-7||Ernesto Hoost||Decision||3 (3)||2001-06-16||Vodafone Arena, Melbourne, Australia||K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 in Melbourne Final|
|Win||61-6||Michael McDonald||Decision||3 (3)||2001-06-16||Vodafone Arena, Melbourne, Australia||K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 in Melbourne Semi-Final|
|Win||60-6||Paris Vasilikos||KO||2 (3)
|2001-06-16||Vodafone Arena, Melbourne, Australia||K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 in Melbourne Quarter-Final|
|Win||59-6||Jeff Ford||KO||2 (3)
|2000-11-26||Northampton, England||Won International Kickboxing Federation PRO Muay Thai World Super Heavyweight Title|
|Lose||58-6||Francisco Filho||KO||2 (3)
|2000-08-20||Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan||K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 in Yokohama Semi-Final|
|Win||58-5||Alexey Ignashov||Decision||3 (3)||2000-08-20||Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan||K-1 World Grand Prix 2000 in Yokohama Quarter-Final|
|Win||57-5||Ricky Nicklson||KO||3 (3)
|2000-04-16||Aston Villa Leisure Center, Birmingham, England||K-1 UK Battle of Britain 2000 Final|
|Win||56-5||Mark Russell||Decision||3 (3)||2000-04-16||Aston Villa Leisure Center, Birmingham, England||K-1 UK Battle of Britain 2000 Semi-Final|
|Win||55-5||Gary Turner||Decision||3 (3)||2000-04-16||Aston Villa Leisure Center, Birmingham, England||K-1 UK Battle of Britain 2000 Quarter-Final|
|Lose||54-5||Jérôme Le Banner||KO||1 (3)
|1999-08-05||Osaka Dome, Osaka, Japan||K-1 World Grand Prix '99 Opening Round|
|Lose||54-4||Loyd Van Dams||Decision||3 (3)||1999-06-20||Osaka Dome, Osaka, Japan||K-1 Braves '99 Semi-Final
1 Extra Round
|Win||54-3||Jan Nortje||Decision||3 (3)||1999-06-20||Osaka Dome, Osaka, Japan||K-1 Braves '99 Quarter-Final|
|Lose||53-3||Peter Aerts||KO||4 (5)
|1999-04-25||Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan||K-1 Revenge '99|
|Lose||53-2||Sam Greco||Decision||5 (5)||1998-09-27||Osaka Dome, Osaka, Japan||K-1 World Grand Prix '98 Opening Round|
|Win||53-1||Masaaki Satake||TKO||1 (3)
|1998-07-18||Nagoya Dome, Nagoya, Japan||K-1 Dream '98|
|Win||52-1||Ray Sefo||TKO||2 (3)
|1998-05-24||Marine Messe, Fukuoka, Japan||K-1 Braves '98|
|Win||51-1||Jan Nortje||TKO||3 (3)
|1998-04-09||Yokohama Arena, Yokohama, Japan||K-1 Kings '98|
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|1 match||0 wins||1 loss|
|Loss||0-1||Tom Erikson||Submission (Strangle Choke)||PRIDE 17||November 3, 2001||1||1:51||Tokyo, Japan|
- English Heavyweight champion
- British Heavyweight champion
- Commonwealth (British Empire) Heavyweight champion
- EBU European Heavyweight champion
- WBU World Heavyweight champion
- Prizefighter Finalist
- "It's now or never for the Bedford Banger". Bedford Today. Johnston Press. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 23 January 1989
- "Matt Skelton jailed for attempting to pervert course of justice". The Daily Telegraph. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2012-08-01.