Spartacus waits for world title call

BOXING star Steve Spartacus is waiting for a phone call that could put him on top of the world.But even if it doesn't come this week, he believes it is only a matter of time before it does.

By Mel Henderson

BOXING star Steve Spartacus is waiting for a phone call that could put him on top of the world.

But even if it doesn't come this week, he believes it is only a matter of time before it does.

"One day," he said, "I'm going to get a crack at the world title and that day isn't far away."

There is still a slim chance that Spartacus will be fighting for a world crown in just three days' time.

He is already training in anticipation of

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challenging Tony Oakey for his WBU world

light-heavyweight title.

British Masters champ Spartacus, 26, laughed: "I've looked in my diary and I'm not doing anything else on Saturday night.

"But seriously, I'm ready to go. Yes, it's short notice, but you don't turn down chances like this."

However, the Bramford-based boxer is more

likely to remain in the wings – with fight organisers flying in a Polish opponent for the weekend show to be screened live on Sky Sports.

Spartacus maintained his 14-fight, 100 per cent professional record at London's Alexandra Palace at the weekend with a first round KO of Zimbabwe's Hastings Rasani.

That made it seven wins inside the distance for Spartacus, who heard beforehand that Oakey's scheduled opponent, Belfast's Darren Corbett, had been forced to

withdraw.

He said: "I was thinking 'I could have a world title shot now, so I better get this over sharpish'. That's why I went out double lively."

However, attempts by his manager, Tony Sims, to have Spartacus replace Corbett looked to have floundered, leaving the Bramford-based boxer bitterly disappointed.

But Sky Sports had a dramatic change of heart after promoter Frank Warren failed to secure a top-flight replacement.

Spartacus said: "They were looking to bring someone in from the States. They wanted a name and I can understand that, but I'd never heard of the fighter they approached.

"He turned them down in any case and Sky were happy to go ahead with yours truly taking on Oakey. But I'm now hearing they are bringing in a Polish fighter.

"He's a bit of an unknown because I've never heard of him. But it looks as if I'll have to be patient and wait my chance, although if the Pole doesn't pass the medical I'm ready to go."

Venue for the 12-round contest is the Mountbatten Centre in Oakey's home town of Portsmouth, where he staged his third successful defence of the world crown in March.

"If it's on I'll be taking on Oakey in his own back yard," said Spartacus. "He'll have 1,200 people cheering him on and I'll be lucky if I've got 12 supporters there.

"I will also have to drop another half a stone by Friday's weigh-in, but I can do that."

Oakey, 27, also boasts a 100 per cent professional record, but with just four of his 18 wins by knockout.

Spartacus added: "He's non-stop with an amazing work rate, a real iron man who never stops and he can take a shot.

"He can go into the later rounds, where I've never been before. I've only been six rounds once and I'm only just coming to my peak.

"If this chance on Saturday passes me by I'll be looking to get some rounds under my belt.

"There's the English title, plus Peter Oboh's British & Commonwealth title and I'll be looking at that early next year.

"The good thing about this week's events is that my name is now being mentioned in the right places. It's right up there.

"I am the best prospect in my weight and when I look at what's about I know there isn't a fighter that I can't beat.

"Now I'm just waiting for my chance to prove it."

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