'We’re here for him': Eddie Lam interview

Martin Chesnutt
30/05/2017 11:25am

Eddie Lam has been with Bradley Skeete since the beginning of his pro career and tells Martin Chesnutt he is looking to guide the British Welterweight Champion to an outright Lonsdale belt and beyond...

“We’re in it for the right reasons, and we’re here for him everyday. That’s important, as a coach.”

Boxing coach Eddie Lam and head coach Al Smith have been with British welterweight champion Bradley Skeete since day one of his professional boxing career.

The relationship goes back to 2004, when Eddie was sitting ringside at an amateur show talking boxing with Gary Barker, the late brother of former IBF middleweight champion Darren Barker.

“I think Brad was about 16 or 17 years old. I remember Al saying: ‘What do you think of Bradley Skeete? He’s looking to turn over with us.’”

He continued, “Me and Brad got our licences, me as a coach and him as a fighter, at roughly the same time in 2010, so I’ve been with Brad from his first fight - from the start.”

While Smith is the head trainer, Lam gives a modest description of life as his assistant.

“Al mainly trains him, devises all the plans and his training regime. I’m just the assistant, so I will do pad work, his exercises, sometimes even sparring. If I see something wrong, I have a word with him; my views, my opinions. There’s nothing special.”

The 2014 loss to Frankie Gavin may have been the best thing to happen to Skeete, as many fans felt the decision could have gone either way, and the 6’1” welterweight's career has gone from strength to strength since that night.

During the past two years, without trying to take Skeete away from his natural counter-punching instincts, Smith and Lam have tried to add a bit more, to take their man to the next level.

“He’s got a little bit more spiteful, I think. He’s knows he can’t leave it in there on the night. He only lost by a really close decision [to Gavin]. I remember phoning him the next day and asking him how he was, and the first thing he said was: ‘I’ll fight him again Ed, and I’ll beat him.’”

Lam continued, “He knew he could have done that extra little bit more, and he didn’t do it. I think he goes into every fight now leaving it in the ring, and not to have regrets the next day.”

But how to get Skeete to the next level?

“We work on his power all the time. He’s a counter puncher, but we do look to add things all the time. After a fight we always see something. For example, last time out against John Thain, they criticised him for not using the right hand enough, but he had an injured right hand.

"We do listen to the criticism and try to do that little bit more in the sparring. We do listen to what other people have to say, and we look to work on things every camp.”

30 years old in October, Skeete (25-1, 11 KOs) is out on Friday night to defend his British title for the second time - the opponent being Shyne Singleton (23-1-1, 8 KOs).

Singleton’s opposition has been a peg or two below what the British champion has faced, but Lam insists they will not be looking past the challenger.

“I think he’s very fit, and he’s strong. He’s game, and he gives it 100 per cent; but, from my point of view, John Thain, who is a very underrated fighter, is better than Singleton. We’re ready for a hard fight.”

Three successful defences means the British title will be Skeete’s to keep, and that looks like the immediate goal. However, as previously mentioned, with his 30th birthday coming in October, Team Skeete does see the bigger picture.

“He’ll look to defend against Singleton, and then he’s got one more, I think against Dale Evans. Then he’ll look for a big name, a rated opponent. And then, I’m sure a world title eliminator is around the corner.

“We ain’t calling no-one out, but he’s nearly 30 years old and won’t be avoiding anyone. If he ain’t ready now, he never will be.”