Dec Spelman fighting for £50k Ultimate Boxxer prize in honour of Scott Westgarth

THERE WILL be an unavoidable air of tragedy in every pre-fight interview with British light-heavyweight Dec Spelman.

No matter how many £50,000 contests he enters or jobs he juggles around training and caring for his four-year-old son, talk will always return to the death of Scott Westgarth.

 Dec Spelman and Scott Westgarth are bound together forever after sharing a ring one tragic night

JAMES WILSON
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Dec Spelman and Scott Westgarth are bound together forever after sharing a ring one tragic night

On February 24 the pair slugged it out in an English title eliminator, with the Sheffield-based chef winning on points but losing his life after falling ill after the bout.

Spelman was left devastated and contemplated quitting the sport he had worked so hard to succeed in.

But the Westgarth family – headed up by father John, a former heavyweight fighter – rallied around the 26-year-old and urged him to carry on in their beloved Scott’s name.

After attending the funeral and a family funday arranged in his honour, Spelman made his ring return in a tentative points win over Jindrich Velecky in June.

Ultimate Boxxer returns with light-heavyweight stars hunting £50k

 Scott Westgarth beat Dec Spelman over 10 thrilling rounds before tragedy struck

PA:Press Association
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Scott Westgarth beat Dec Spelman over 10 thrilling rounds before tragedy struck
 Dec Spelman has returned to the ring to fight on for the Westgarth family

JAMES WILSON
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Dec Spelman has returned to the ring to fight on for the Westgarth family

Etched onto his shorts was the proud Westgarth name and ringside, in the ultimate sign of support, was Scott’s brother Adam.

And, on November 2, Spelman will enter the Ultimate Boxxer tournament where eight up-and-comers will fight on TV for the life-changing prize.

After rushing home from his factory job to collect boy Roghan from his first day at school, Spelman explained where his tremendous willpower comes from.

He said: “Scott’s death is always in the back of my mind and that is where it needs to be, I think about it every day and I will do that for the rest of my life, I don’t think I would be human otherwise.

“From now on I have to try to make positives out of it. I can never forget what happened but it is now about remembering Scott, dedicating every fight and win to him because that is the best way to honour him.

 Dec Spelman wants to win the English title and hand it to John Westgarth pictured here with son Scott

Facebook/John Westgarth
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Dec Spelman wants to win the English title and hand it to John Westgarth pictured here with son Scott

“I would love to fight for the English belt and be able to win it for his family. Handing a belt like that over to his dad is the drive for me.

“Even after it had happened I was always just trying to do the most respectful thing and I hope what I have done has been the right thing.

“I went to the funeral and I went to the family funday they held for Scott.

“I took my little boy and it was hard. But it had to be done, I could not bury my head in the sand.”

 Scott Westgarth will be remembered through Dec Spelman's promising fight career

Action Images – Reuters
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Scott Westgarth will be remembered through Dec Spelman's promising fight career

It is not hard to see why the Westgarths and Scunthorpe’s fight fans have got behind the down-to-earth star.

Casual fans rarely see this side of boxing, away from pay-per-view shows, stage-managed press conferences and trash talk.

Spelman slogs away in a factory for eight hours in the morning or night to support himself and his family and still makes time to be a doting dad and a title contender.

It is no wonder his dedicated northern supporters are willing to make 430 mile round-trip and pay capital-punishment prices for a pint in London.

And delaying the interview an hour was a pleasure when Spelman explained he had been on a crucial schoolrun.

He said: “It was my lad’s first day at reception so I wanted to be there to pick him up and he said it was really good.

“It was his first day in his uniform but I didn’t get to see him wearing it in the morning because I was on a 6am-2pm shift and then had to come straight from work to get him.

Hilarious vid shows Tyson Fury explaining why he thinks Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn ‘don’t fancy’ showdown with him

 Dec Spelman races home from work to collect his son from school

Dec Spelman
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Dec Spelman races home from work to collect his son from school

“I either do 6am-2pm or a night shift of 2pm- 10pm so I can help with Roghan and get to training. It’s a pretty boring, standard job but it frees me up to do what I love.

“That’s why this is going to be a huge opportunity that I am going to take with both hands.

“I have a proper crowd of support coming, they probably have a four hour journey down from Scunthorpe, they have all booked their hotels and they are well up for it.

“That might change when they realise it’s about £6-a-pint in London but I could not ask for more amazing support.

“When I look at my career now, the support I have built is probably what I am most proud of.”

 Light-heavyweight Dec Spelman celebrated a win on his comeback fight but he wants a title for John Westgarth

JAMES WILSON
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Light-heavyweight Dec Spelman celebrated a win on his comeback fight but he wants a title for John Westgarth

Take a look around the Julián Magdaleno gym in Mexico where Canelo Alvarez trained to be a boxer

Spelman has plenty more to be proud of, he has lived through every boxer's nightmare and has come out fighting.

Victory in the tournament, backed by British boxing icon Ricky Hatton, could help him give his all to the sport that has already taken so much out of him.

On top of giving little Roghan the chance to see his dad in action, the winnings could go toward turning his gruelling daily grind into a dream come true.

He said: “It’s great this show will be on TV because my lad will get to watch it, he’s getting in to his boxing. He’s actually too in to it and I am trying to get him out of it!

“I think the winner will end up getting around £16,000, once the prize money is divided up between everyone.

“But you are still talking big money for us lads and it would hopefully put me in a position to go full-time, which has always been a dream for me.”

ULTIMATE BOXXER II will take place at Indigo at The O2 on Friday 2nd November 2018

THERE WILL be an unavoidable air of tragedy in every pre-fight interview with British light-heavyweight Dec Spelman.