Spartacus in line for title tilt

BOXING: Steve Smith, the Bramford professional boxer who fights under the name of Spartacus, could be in line for a British title crack before the end of the year.

By Dave Allard

STEVE Smith, the Bramford professional boxer who fights under the name of Spartacus, could be in line for a British title crack before the end of the year.

And before that the 24-year-old will fight for the vacant Southern Area crown, possibly at the Ipswich Corn Exchange.

The excited light heavyweight Smith, who is currently recovering from a hand injury, explained: "My promoter Frank Warren tells me that a bout for the Southern Area against an opponent to be nominated could well happen in September.

"He says that the plan is for it to be at the Ipswich Corn Exchange or in Norwich. I sincerely hope it's the Corn Exchange as I know I could pack the place out.

"If I'm successful in the Southern Area then I will fight Nathan King, of Wales, in an eliminator for a crack at the British light-heavyweight crown that is currently held by Neil Simpson.

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"King will be a very stiff test as he was nine times the Welsh amateur champion. It's all a very exciting prospect, but at the moment I'm just worried about this injury."

Smith, who has won nine fights out of nine since turning professional, was due to meet Radcliffe Greene at the York Hall in East London on May 4.

"I wanted that fight as it is another pay day and my fans were looking forward to it," he said. "But my manager Tony Sims has persuaded me that it's best to call it off. My hand is just not right."

Smith – backed by the Evening Star – sustained the bad bruising to his right hand after it was driven against the head of sparring partner Steve Potter at the Hurstlea-Kerridge Club gymnasium at Needham Market.

Smith explained: "When I first turned professional I damaged the same hand and I couldn't box for four months. I don't want that to happen again so I'm having constant treatment and taking it a bit easy.

"I'm sure it will be mended soon and hopefully I will be back in action again before too long. But there is so much to look forward too in terms of title attempts and it's important not to rush things."

Fighting at the Corn Exchange in front of his home-town fans would be so special for Smith.

During his amateur days he watched from ringside as fellow Suffolk boxers David Starie, the current British and Commonwealth super-middleweight champion, Andy Ewen and Mark Reynolds went into action.

Smith, a real crowd-pleaser who enters the ring in full Spartacus costume, is a former Eastern Counties amateur champion and ABA semi-finalist.