World Boxing Federation (WBF) International Super Bantamweight Champion Paul ”Spartan” Economides was born in Wales in November 1986. He started boxing at eleven, and had his first bout at twelve years of age.
As an amateur he developed into one of his countries best, and eventually represented Wales in several international tournaments before deciding to turn professional at age 21 in 2008.
Along the way he has put together a record of fourteen victories against five defeats, capturing British Masters titles in two weight-classes before winning the WBF title this past April.
Paul, thank you for taking the time to do this small interview. Can you please start by telling me a bit about your upbringing?
I had a good upbringing, family is everything to me, but when I was 15 years old my dad passed away. My dad loved me boxing and came to all my fights. I promised him I’d become a champion, and I always have him in mind when I fight.
How did you get into boxing?
I was overweight as a kid, so not very good at sports until I went to the local boxing gym. I fell in love with the sport, and I still can’t get enough of it.
What were your biggest accomplishments in the amateur ranks?
As an amateur I won three Welch titles, and two bronze medals at the 4 Nations.
How did you get the nickname “Spartan”?
My parents are both Greek Cypriots, so the Spartan nickname was an easy option for the fans to pick.
What do you like to do when you are not in training for a fight?
I’m always training, and when I’m not fighting I’m still training. But out of the gym I like to chill with my family. I have been married for two years now, and have a baby girl who is almost one. They’re my new motivation in life.
Getting back to boxing, who would you say have been your toughest opponent as a professional?
Well, on paper people would say Gavin McDonald, who is currently the British champion. Everyone thought I did enough to win that fight, but he got the decision (In April 2013).
You won the WBF International Super Bantamweight title in your last fight by stopping Hungarian David Kanalas in the second round. How did you experience that fight?
The camp for the Kanalas fight went perfect, and so did the fight. I knew I could hurt him to the body, and the game plan worked.
On August 2 you will defend your title against George Gachechiladze (15-11-1, 8 Kos) from Georgia, an experienced opponent who has faced good fighters before and fought for titles. What do you know about him?
I know George is a tough opponent. He is strong and he comes to win. I think his style and my style will make for a great fight. He is rated a lot higher than me in the world ratings, and thats the direction I want to go in. I’m really looking forward to it.
Is there one boxer you would just love to fight? A dream-opponent?
I´d love a rematch with Gavin McDonald, as I feel I was robbed with that decision and I put a lot of time and effort into that fight. Its hard for me to let it go.
What is your ultimate goal as a boxer?
My ultimate goal as a boxer is to win the WBF World title, and, if its possible, to defend it in Cyprus where I’m pretty sure there´s never been a professional boxing fight before.