Spartacus battling to beat injury

BOXING: Steve 'Spartacus' Smith is desperate to overcome his hand injury as he prepares for his toughest professional boxing test yet.In just three weeks the Bramford boxer is due to face Trevor Small in Portsmouth.

STEVE 'Spartacus' Smith is desperate to overcome his hand injury as he prepares for his toughest professional boxing test yet.

In just three weeks the Bramford boxer is due to face Trevor Small in Portsmouth.

But having sustained an injury to his left hand in training, which is his jabbing hand, there is only a 60-40 chance that he will be able to fight on May 25.

Originally Smith, who turned professional 18 months ago, was due to fight Small on May 4, but the date was put back a few weeks to give Smith time to recover.

If he overcomes his injury, he knows the size of his task. Small, from Birmingham, fights in the cruiser-weight category, which is above the light-heavyweight division of Smith.

And although the Suffolk boxer is undefeated in nine bouts, he admitted: "I will have to step up a gear to defeat Small. He is a high quality puncher."

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Smith is also aware that Small stopped the outstanding Carl Smallwood in his tracks.

Smith, 24, who picked up his bruised ligaments sparring last month, is currently training at Hurstlea-Kerridge amateur boxing club in Needham Market and Clarice House health club in Ipswich.

This week he is taking to the shores of Norfolk, where he will be running along the beaches in preparation for his latest contest.

Following that, he will trainfor two weeks in London, just before his clash with Small.

Since picking up his hand problem, Smith has undergone several forms of treatment, most recently cortisone injections.

He has also visited a faith healer in a desperate bid to cure his damaged hand, but will not make a decision on whether or not to do battle until May 18.

Smith is also conscious that during the summer months there will not be many opportunities to fight.

Consequently, he is anxious to be fit, thus receiving a handy purse to tide him over until September.

Success over Small could put him in for a crack at the British light-heavyweight crown.

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