Night to remember for Ibox duo Skeete and Pettitt

Night to remember for Ibox duo Skeete and Pettitt

Bradley Skeete (left) in action against Giuseppe Loriga. Pictures by Will Cornelius.


Skeete with his belt

Lewis Pettitt

Pettitt in action

Pettitt with his belt

First published in Sport
Last updated

Ibox gym in Bromley is buzzing after more success for Bradley Skeete and Lewis Pettitt at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday night.

After claiming the vacant WBA intercontinental welterweight title in February, Penge-based Skeete was determined to impress against experienced Italian Giuseppe Loriga.

News Shopper: Skeete

And after a cagey opening two rounds, the Penge ace upped the pressure and began breaking through Loriga’s defence with a powerful jab.

By round six Skeete had his man against the ropes as he unloaded some punishing shots with devastating accuracy.

In the following round the pressure proved too much for the Italian and the referee rightly stopped the contest.

After three intense training camps, Skeete feels he is ready for a break but wants to return in the summer for a shot at the national crown.

He said: “I can fight for the British title, I’m at that level now.

“Frankie Gavin is now at European or world level so I can fill that void.

News Shopper: Skeete with his belt

“I’m ready for the British title.”

Before the fight Skeete had stopped just four of his previous opponents and his critics argued he did not possess the required punching power.

Now undefeated in 16 professional bouts, including five knockouts, Skeete believes he has proven himself at this level. He said: “I’m glad that tonight I’ve been able to silence some of those critics.

“I know I’m still going to have my doubters but I’ve proved tonight what I’m all about.

“Tonight I stopped a guy who went nine rounds with Chavez Jnr.

“He’s mixed at the highest level and before tonight he had only been stopped twice over 32 fights – not bad for someone who can’t punch.

“I’m not just stopping them now, I’m busting them up.

“You’ve only got to look at the guys face to see that.”

Before Skeete took to the ring, fellow Ibox member Lewis Pettitt beat Brazilian Emerson Santos Carvalho to claim the vacant WBA international super-bantamweight title.

The 23-year-old from Crayford showed good hand speed and concentration in what he said was the biggest fight of his life.

Pettitt outclassed his opponent from the start and showed a variety with his shot selection to extend his record to 14–1.

News Shopper: Lewis Pettitt

The Brazilian was searching for the knockout shot early on and in response Pettitt was able to comfortably pick him off, stopping him in the fifth round. Pettitt said: “I’m just ecstatic, I can’t tell you how happy I am.

“Watching Brad do his thing is great as well, we’ve had two wicked performances tonight and I can’t wait for us both to defend our titles.

News Shopper: Pettitt in action

“Hopefully we can do it on the same show again back here.

“It will be great if we can both come back to the Copper Box to defend our WBA titles together. That would be amazing.”

News Shopper: Pettitt with his belt

On a high profile bill, including Chris Eubank Jr, promoter Frank Warren was most impressed by the Ibox duo and singled out Skeete for what he described as the performance of the night.

Warren said: “That was a great win for Bradley, he did extremely well tonight.

“He’s had his critics and I’ve said before that he needs to show he can do it in the ring, and he really stepped up and delivered tonight.

“Pettitt did a great job in there tonight as well and he’s shown what he’s about.”

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