Spartacus: He’s Glad All Over
16.05.07 - Steve Spartacus has vowed to live up to his name and produce a gladiatorial display to win the British light-heavyweight title on Friday. The Ipswich boxer – real name Steve Smith – faces Portsmouth puncher Tony Oakey, 31, in east London where he will walk to the ring in a gladiator outfit and box in what looks like a Roman tunic.
Article posted on 16.05.2007
Spartacus, 30, adopted his image after visiting a medium who told him he was an ancient warrior in a previous life.
Now he intends to live up to his name and produce his best yet, to win his first major title against Oakey, who is on the comeback trail after serving a one year drugs ban.
He said: “I went to a medium in Norfolk when I was about to turn professional a few years ago. She made out I was a successful ancient warrior in old times. I had to change my name because there were four Steve Smiths boxing in Britain at the time.
“It has got me some attention and is a bit of a laugh, but I believe now I am ready to really live up to my name.
“I have underperformed in my career and had a few niggling injuries, although two of the defeats were debatable.
“I am the sort of fighter who needs to be 100% and a couple of 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. Oakey’s style is made for me.”
Spartacus hopes beating Oakey will shake up the British Light Heavyweight division, which has been dead for a few years now. And he hopes victory will set up the possibility of fighting Sheffield’s IBF world champion Clinton Woods further down the line.
He said: “I would love to fight Clinton Woods. I am an old school fighter who will fight anyone at anytime. I’ve been willing to step up before and I would do it again.
“Tony Oakey is a big name and if I can beat him bigger fights will follow. The winner of this could face Brian Magee or Peter Haymer and both would be good fights for myself.”
“The British light heavyweight scene needs a bit of a shake-up and this is the first British Title fight in years because Peter Oboh was inactive.
“Clinton Woods has moved on to the world stage, but if I can prove myself to be a worthy British champion I would be a credible challenger for Clinton in a voluntary defence.
“There’s ourselves, Magee and Haymer who can step up and challenge Clinton.”
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