Spartacus promsing real thriller tonight

STEVE Spartacus promised fight fans 'a real thriller' tonight when he takes on Tony Oakey for the British light-heavyweight crown.The 30-year-old Ipswich boxer faces the biggest challenge of a professional career that has seen him win 19 of his 22 contests.

By Mel Henderson

STEVE Spartacus promised fight fans 'a real thriller' tonight when he takes on Tony Oakey for the British light-heavyweight crown.

The 30-year-old Ipswich boxer faces the biggest challenge of a professional career that has seen him win 19 of his 22 contests.

He has never come up against Oakey before but believes he is the ideal opponent as he seeks to make up for his previous career disappointments with his best-ever display at a busy ExCeL Centre and in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Spartacus said: “I am the sort of fighter who needs to be 100 per cent fit, and a couple times I have taken fights at short notice and paid for it.

“But this time I'm fully prepared and can't wait for this fight. Tony's style is made for me.

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“I was a couple of years behind him in the amateurs and always wanted to fight him because we are both short, squat and aggressive fighters, so it should make for a cracking fight.

“I can see it being a real thriller. If I could pick anyone to fight it would be him, and the fact that it is also for the British title just makes this fight perfect for me.”

Former Commonwealth champion Oakey was let down last month when Peter Oboh pulled out less than an hour before he was supposed to get in the ring and defend the British title against him.

Spartacus added: “He will be in top shape because he was training for Oboh anyway, but so am I. I was training to face Peter Haymer for the English title and some of my training was done at Ipswich Town alongside the players.

“Tony Oakey is a big name and if I can beat him bigger fights will follow. The winner of this could face Brian Magee. The British light-heavyweight scene needs livening up and this is the first British title fight in years because Peter Oboh was inactive.”

But rival Oakey, 31, who hails from Portsmouth and will have the backing of hundreds of fans this evening, is equally determined to live up to his tag as the bookies' favourite.

Victory over Spartacus will get his career back on the big stage and he said: “I'm going to win this fight with Steve and then I can look forward to fighting Brian Magee or Peter Haymer, who I would love to fight again and put right my controversial loss to him.

“There are some big fights out there at light-heavyweight now that the British title has become vacant. Every British light-heavyweight should be thanking me because Oboh refusing to fight me has really opened things up.”

Spartacus weighed in yesterday at 12st 6lb 6oz and was kept waiting until Oakey arrived two hours later and was bang on the 12st 7lb limit.

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