Matt Skelton was unsuccessful in his bid to become English Heavyweight Champion after a points defeat to John McDermott last night.
The Bedford boxer was defeated after ten rounds with the judges unanimously handing the fight to his opponent from Essex.
They carded the bout at Bethnal Green’s York Hall 97-93, 97-94, 97-94 and although Skelton felt he did enough to win, the verdict was a fair reflection of proceedings after McDermott landed the cleaner shots in the battle for the vacant belt.
Forty-six-year-old Skelton has now lost his last two fights in a row following a defeat to David Price in a bout for the British and Commonwealth titles in November.
Skelton, who once challenged Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA World Heavyweight crown, has seen his career record move to 28 wins and eight defeats.
McDermott particularly impressed with his effective jab throughout the fight and will now be eyeing a match-up for Price’s British title.
By beating Skelton he avenged a defeat to him in 2005, when the Bedford man needed just one round to triumph via technical knock-out.
“I thought I had done enough but obviously the judges thought differently,” Skelton said following the fight.
“I’m very disappointed, I probably should have stepped on the gas a bit earlier as I stood off him and let him work, but I still thought in the latter rounds I had done enough to take the fight.”
With both fighters now holding a win over the other, Skelton called for a third meeting between the pair to settle the duo’s rivalry.
He said that the winner of that bout should go on to have a shot at Price.
“I’d like to have another fight to decide it, let’s have one more,” he said.
“I feel they should let us have one more and then the winner gets a shot at the British title.
“I stopped him before and people might say it was early in his career, but it was early in mine as well.”
McDermott was 24 when he previously lost to Skelton and admitted that he was probably ‘too young’ to step into the ring with him.
Now though, he is hoping his English title win will propel him to greater things in the sport.
“Matt’s a tough guy,” he said. “I get all the inspiration in the world from him.
“I caught him with some fantastic jabs and some fantastic right hands. I used my jab a lot and after working my way in, boxed really well.
“I feel like I’ve turned my career around.”