Carly Skelly: “Gutted I Didn’t Get The Result I Deserved.”

Carly Skelly: “Gutted I Didn’t Get The Result I Deserved.”

In any fight, a draw is rarely satisfactory, but one in a title fight probably even more so. Amy Timlin and Liverpool’s Carly Skelly clashed for the vacant Commonwealth super-bantamweight title on the big Usyk-Chisora PPV. The fight delivered plenty but not a definitive conclusion. Not for the first time, a women’s fight on a Matchroom card ended with a scoring controversy.

Timlin and Skelly shared the spoils, but for Skelly, the verdict is one of frustration. This observer had Skelly up 6-4 in a highly entertaining fight, and the Liverpool fighter felt she had done more than enough to have had her hand raised in victory:

“I watched the fight back on Monday morning, I feel exactly the same as I did when I was in there, I thought I had won. I had myself up either 7-3 or 6-4 in rounds, one of the rounds was really close and that could have gone either way. I think we both knew who won, you can tell when someone thinks they have lost by the look in their eye. Amy was happy to get the draw but I was gutted with it.”

Skelly got off to the better start of the two fighters, her educated pressure seemed to unsettle her younger opponent. Timlin gradually found her range in the middle rounds picking off some lovely combinations. But Skelly for me finished the fight the stronger fighter and that swung the fight in her favour, at least on my card. Skelly saw it much the same way:

“I felt really good to be honest, in the first two rounds I was enjoying it. The second half of the fight I felt like I dominated it. I was on the front foot and Amy was on the edge of the ring and didn’t have the style I imagined her to be. In the closing rounds, I was able to get the better body shots off than I did in the early rounds. I could feel the power in my shots and it was becoming a little too much for her in the later rounds.”

There is that perception that Timlin aged just 20, is likely to improve more than the older Skelly. But Skelly sees it the opposite way:

“Even though I am a little older than Amy, but for me, I am still new to the sport I got into it really late when I was 29. So I feel I am still learning and there is still more for me to show. With Amy, she has been in the sport a lot longer than me, so even though she has youth on her side Amy is a lot older in a boxing sense.”

Neither fighter had gone 10 rounds before, Timlin only one 6 rounder in her previous four fights, and for Skelly, it was her first fight scheduled for 10 rounds after three previous fights over 4 rounds. But the Liverpool fighter wasn’t overly concerned about having to potentially go to the championship rounds:

“I enjoyed the 10 rounds, I had done quite a few 10 round spars during my training camp so I knew I had 10 rounds in me. After the first two rounds it was probably a little concern because you don’t want to go all out, so I guess I was conserving my energy a little bit. But later on I picked it up so I had it in me and I quite enjoyed it.”

These are not normal times, any fight now results in an extended period of time in a confined secure bubble. The added concerns of waiting for a negative Covid test increases the pre-fight tensions. But once that formality was out of the way, it was an experience that Skelly enjoyed and embraced:

“Overall the experience was really good. Obviously, the early part of it not so because you were just waiting in the hotel room hoping the Covid test would come back negative. Waiting after training for 5 months only to be told you had tested positive would not have been great, but once we got told we were ok it was such a relief. The whole set up had enough for us to keep us busy and entertained. I am really grateful for the opportunity and for Eddie Hearn and Dave Coldwell to get us on such a big show and I loved it, but gutted I didn’t get the result I deserved.”

With no definitive verdict rendered, there seems little option but to run it back one more time. The appetite to see it again will be high, the first fight was one of quality between two good fighters. The rematch is something Skelly desperately wants:

“A lot of people were looking forward to the fight and now it was declared a draw, we can’t leave it like that, it needs a decider.”

Skelly is a fully qualified NHS Paediatric nurse, but with the added exposure of being on a Matchroom card, she was able to attract additional sponsors to allow her to fully prepare herself for the biggest fight of her career:

“Lucky enough I had a lot of sponsors who came on board late in the training camp, I had quite a few anyway so I was able to take some time off work and focus solely on the fight for last two months. I am still a nurse but I have gone with an agency now so I can pick and choose the hours around my life. So its been really good and the hospital has been fine as well with me. I don’t think I will be going back anytime soon, I will see when the rematch gets scheduled for. I have got my eyes on that belt and I just want to focus on that until I have got that belt.”

Skelly celebrated her 34th birthday this week and has already set her sights on bigger celebrations to come. Firmly focussed on the rematch and getting what she feels she was denied last time.

Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

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