Spartacus to do battle for vacant title
IPSWICH boxer Steve Spartacus will do battle for the vacant British light-heavyweight title this week.Spartacus, 30, takes on Portsmouth's Tony Oakey in the headline bout at the ExCeL Centre in London on Friday.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH boxer Steve Spartacus will do battle for the vacant British light-heavyweight title this week.
Spartacus, 30, takes on Portsmouth's Tony Oakey in the headline bout at the ExCeL Centre in London on Friday.
The 10-round contest will be covered live by Sky Sports and is a major step up from Spartacus' intended bout with English champ Peter Haymer.
“This chance came about unexpectedly but the timing is good for me,” said Spartacus. “It is an opportunity that I couldn't turn down and I can't wait for it to come round.
“It is still very much a make or break situation for me but my preparations are going well and nothing has changed in that department.
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“I have been looking to get into the ring with Oakey for years and now that the chance has come along I am determined to make the most of it.”
It will be Spartacus' 23rd, and possibly last, professional bout. He enjoyed an unbeaten run of 15 but has since lost three of his last seven.
Oakey is 31 and has a record of 23 wins and just two losses as a pro, both defeats coming in the space of his last seven outings.
The rescheduled fight has come about after Oakey was ready to take on Peter Oboh a fortnight ago, only for the former champion to be stripped of the title following a dramatic walk-out on the night.
With Spartacus already down to fight on Friday's card and Oakey in tip-top shape, the two were paired for a British title showdown.
Promoter Mick Hennessy, who is also Spartacus' manager, said: “In the circumstances, it made perfect sense to make Spartacus-Oakey.
“It keeps a title that has been very stagnant active.
“It could kick-start the division. There are a lot of competitive fights that could be made at 12st 7lb.
“It's an excellent contest between two known, come-forward fighters with big followings and big hearts. It's been on the cards for a while. It's going to be a cracking night.
“The venue is going to look fantastic and there should be a great atmosphere.”
Haymer, whose rivalry with Spartacus goes back to their amateur days, will still defend on the show against an opponent to be named shortly