Boxing: Spartacus ready for big comeback

Spartacus ready for big comeback

Suffolk Evening Star, UK
May 27 2004

May 27, 2004 12:39 — COMEBACK kid Steve Spartacus is ready to return
to the boxing ring – and fully prepared to get back to winning ways.

Ipswich fighter Spartacus, real name Steve Smith, faces Varuzhan
Davtyan in a light-heavyweight fight next Wednesday, four months
after suffering his only professional defeat in 16 fights.

But the 27-year old boxer admits he was unprepared for that ill-fated
bout with Ovill McKenzie which came just a month after he had won
the inaugural English light-heavyweight crown with victory over Scott
Lansdowne at Bethnal Green

He said: “It was all going so well for me – I’d won the English
title and I came back in to the gym after Christmas and was told
there would be no fight for me until April.

“Then, at short notice, the fight came up with McKenzie and I went
for it. I wasn’t fit enough but I believed my own hype and believed
I could beat him. I was a fool to think I could as you need six weeks
preparation before a fight and I didn’t get it.”

Since the McKenzie defeat, Spartacus has spent time sparring overseas
in a bid to get back to the condition he was in last December when
he took the light-heavyweight crown in a third round knockout.

“I’ve been dogged by injuries recently and have been over in Denmark
sparring – the injury is to my left elbow which has been a bit of
a nightmare. But I’m having plenty of physio on it and it’s getting

“I’m still not 100 per cent fit now but I am better prepared than
for the McKenzie fight.”

In Nottingham next Wednesday he faces Armenian Davtyan, a former
Russian middleweight champion with an impressive record of 27 wins
and five defeats in his native country.

Davtyan, 31, relocated to Birmingham in 2002 and has won five and
lost ten fights since then. Spartacus admits it is a fight he really
should win.

“Davtyan is a boxer I know a bit about. His last fight was at the end
of March when he beat Jamie Hearn in Southampton but ten days before
that he fought my gym mate Andrew Lowe.

“Andrew won that fight so I’ve been speaking to him about Davtyan
and he will lend me the video of the fight to watch.

“Davtyan is a hard-working fighter but when he fought Andrew he was
fat and out of shape – he likes to move around the ring which is
something I don’t really like – I would rather just get in there and
tear him up.”

After fighting Davtyan on Wednesday, Spartacus is all set to face
25-year-old Londoner Peter Haymer in a long-awaited grudge match.

Spartacus faced Haymer when the two boxers were amateurs and lost
the fight on a controversial points decision.

“We met in 2000 when I was still an amateur and he beat me 16-15 on
points and we’ve been on a collision course to meet as pros ever since.

“Even now in gyms around London people come up to me and talk about
the Haymer fight and still tell me I should have been given the
points decision.

“That is the big fight I am waiting for but it won’t take place
until September.

“After that I am hoping to bring a fight back to Ipswich. That would
really be something special.”

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS