Sprott lands Prizefighter
Skelton beaten in final of heavyweight tournament
Last Updated: 10/10/10 11:10am
Sprott: Split decision win (Image: leighdawneyphotography.com)
Michael Sprott produced a crisp performance to claim the Prizefighter heavyweight crown and gain revenge over old rival Matt Skelton in the process.
"I'm just waiting to see if I can maybe go for the European title or a world title defence against one of the Klitschkos or David Haye."
Michael Sprott Quotes of the week
Sprott, who had lost two previous bouts to Skelton, cruised through to the final before securing a split decision to take the prize at York Hall in Bethnal Green.
Sprott had looked the sharper throughout the evening and was on top in the first round of the final although neither fighter landed many punches.
Skelton kept coming forward but despite fighting on the front foot, Sprott continued to land the cleaner shots from the outside behind a reliable jab in round two.
The 43-year-old Skelton made an aggressive start to the third and final round as he sensed that a dramatic turnaround in fortunes was needed for him to win.
Sprott was caught in the dying stages but held off a resurgent Skelton to survive and take a split decision, with two judges giving him the fight 29-28 and one awarding it to Skelton by the same score.
After the fight, the 35-year-old was optimistic that the victory would help re-launch his career.
"It means a lot. We'll see what happens from here," he told Sky Sports.
"We'll see what happens with Martin Rogan, Audley Harrison and now I'm just waiting to see if I can maybe go for the European title or a world title defence against one of the Klitschkos or David Haye."
Skelton began his evening in dominant style as he pummelled Ali Adams for three rounds, who gamely hung on but never looked any sort of threat.
Kevin McBride, who once beat Mike Tyson, looked slow and ponderous as Franklin Egobi's movement saw him take control in the first round of the night's second fight.
However, the Irish fighter began to come forward and assert himself, eventually coming back to secure a split-decision victory and book a semi-final date with Sprott.
In the third fight of the evening, Shane McPhilbin secured an upset victory against Declan Timlin, who was put down with a left hook in the second round before the referee stepped in after further punishment.
Much like Skelton in the opening contest of the event, Sprott was a level above Danny Hughes in his first-round match and claimed a comfortable unanimous decision.
There was controversy in the first semi-final as Skelton was sent crashing to the canvas after being caught with a McBride right hook but no count was administered by the referee.
Skelton recovered to rock his opponent in the last round and eventually win a unanimous verdict, with the decision not to score the knockdown proving crucial.
Sprott was again in complete control during his semi-final with McPhilbin, claiming another unanimous decision to set up the expected showdown with Skelton.