Spartacus faces highly-rated Frenchman

STEVE Spartacus returns to action tonight hoping to take another step towards the British light-heavyweight title.The Ipswich-based boxer has a six-round bout against highly-rated Frenchman Karim Bennama at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.

STEVE Spartacus returns to action tonight hoping to take another step towards the British light-heavyweight title.

The Ipswich-based boxer has a six-round bout against highly-rated Frenchman Karim Bennama at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.

Spartacus had originally been scheduled to fight Magid Ben Driss but was offered a tougher fight and jumped at the chance.

“Bennama is a much more difficult fighter and the other guy looked a soft touch,” said Spartacus.

“I'm at the stage of my career where I need to take my chance. I need to be tested and get some competitive action. This kid should provide that.”

Spartacus, 29, has a good opportunity to impress as his fight is likely to be shown on Sky Sports 1.

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The main event at York Hall is Carl Froch's super-middleweight clash against Dale Westerman but, time permitting, Spartacus's contest will also be televised.

Bennama, 25, lost three of his first six fights, but has now won 14 out of 22 contests, including an impressive victory against former intercontinental champion Darren Corbett.

Spartacus, who has only been beaten twice in 20 bouts, was last in action in December and recorded a 45-second knock-out against Armenian Varuzhan Davtyan.

The Suffolk fighter will again be cheered on by his supporters with at least 80 people, including representatives from sponsors Flare Recruitment and John Keeble Ltd, making the trip to east London.

Although expecting a tough fight, Spartacus admitted his career would be in jeopardy if he lost.

“I could do with five or six rounds, but I'm going to try to jump on him early on,” said Spartacus.

“I'm in better shape and he won't be as strong as I am.

“He is taller and a mover so I have to make sure I turn it into a street fight and don't let him get away from me.

“He hasn't come over to be beaten and it's one of those even fights where I could win or lose.

“If I'm going to get to the British title level I cannot afford a slip-up.

“You look at Bennama's record and he's on a good run, so it's a dangerous fight.”

Live Friday Fight Night is on Sky Sports 1 from 10pm to midnight.

See tomorrow's Evening Star for a full report on tonight's fight.

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