Boxing rematch scrapped for Spartacus

IPSWICH boxer Steve Spartacus has been forced to scrap plans for a revenge bout against the fighter who pipped him last time out.Light heavyweight Spartacus, 30, was scheduled to meet Ayittey Powers on the same card when Jon Thaxton defends his British lightweight title against Scott Lawton at the Norfolk Showground next Friday.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boxer Steve Spartacus has been forced to scrap plans for a revenge bout against the fighter who pipped him last time out.

Light heavyweight Spartacus, 30, was scheduled to meet Ayittey Powers on the same card when Jon Thaxton defends his British lightweight title against Scott Lawton at the Norfolk Showground next Friday.

But injury and illness has forced him to withdraw from the contest against Ghana-born Powers, who outpointed him over six rounds at Dagenham in December.

That was only Spartacus' third defeat in 22 professional fights going back almost seven years, with all of them coming in his last seven outings.

He is now set to meet old foe Peter Haymer, who must defend his English crown by the end of June, in a live-on-Sky-Sports clash.

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Spartacus said: “Haymer is the guy who took the title from me and, as I'm the number one contender, it's a fight I've been looking forward to for some time.

“I'd have gone in against Powers, no problem. It was a rematch, so I was out for revenge, but I picked up a chest infection - from my sparring partners of all people - and there was no way I could make it for next week.

“I was put on antibiotics and I also had an injury that Ipswich Town were helping me with, so my training wasn't right. It seems to have been one thing after another recently.”

But Spartacus is confident he will be in tip-top shape to go head-to-head with Haymer, perhaps as early as next month, live on the satellite channel.

He added: “I'm told that terms have been agreed and it's all systems go.

“I could have gone in against Powers without being properly prepared and that could have messed up the fight with Haymer.

“I went down to London for some sparring and my manager, Tony Simms, could see I was struggling so he pulled me out.

“The Haymer one is the one I really want and need. I should soon know the date and the venue - and fingers crossed nothing will get in the way of it.”

The importance of the clash with Haymer is not lost on Spartacus, who surrendered the English light heavyweight title to him at Wembley in November 2004.

Sponsored by local company Flare Recruitment, he admitted: “It's virtually all or nothing on that one with the winner going on to have a shot at the British title. Bring it on!”

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