BRITISH and Commonwealth welterweight champion Sam Eggington vs Bradley Skeete will take place on March 5 in the champion’s home city of Birmingham but for challenger Skeete, from Penge this is merely the latest example of his fighting against the odds. Skeete tells his story below, in his own words.
Where it began
I WAS from Battersea originally, I grew up on the Surrey Lane council estate. We moved to Penge when I was nine or 10. I’ve got an older brother [one year older] and an older sister [five years older]. Surrey Lane, it was a typical council estate, we lived upstairs in a maisonette, my nan lived downstairs on the same estate. Everyone knew everyone. I still go there now, my nan still lives there. I wouldn’t say I was getting into trouble but a lot of my friends who I used to go round with, some are in prison and some are dead now. I’m not saying if I’d stayed round there it could’ve been me, but you never know do you? I could’ve went the wrong way, been a drug dealer on the street.
Boxing steps in
I STARTED and it was just a bit of fun. I always wanted to be a world champ but you dream it. It started getting real from when I went in my first Schoolboys [championships], I lost in the final. I went away with England and won the Four Nations. It was serious from then; I was only 12 or 13. I was always around the England set-up and I got to two more Schoolboy finals and lost them. I won an NABC title, got to an ABA final… obviously I was no good at winning finals! I think a lot of people forget… there was a picture going around recently of when we boxed England v America. I think there was me in it, Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, James DeGale and two other kids. I look and think out of six, seven of us, three are world champions. I was around them boys, I could be the next one.