By Terence Dooley
Scunthorpe’s Dec Spelman made his return to the ring on June 30 with a decision win over journeyman Jindrich Velecky at the North Notts Arena, Worksop. It was his first fight since the death of Scott Westgarth, who collapsed following his win over Spelman (now 12-1, 7 early) in February and died the next day.
Spelman admits that he thought long and hard about whether or not to carry on boxing, but decided to give it another go after receiving words of encouragement from Westgarth’s family. “Being back in the ring was fine but it was hard getting focused beforehand,” he said when speaking to the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
Spelman next fights at the Beachcomber Club in Humberton on September seventh on a Carl Greaves Promotions bill, the opponent will be announced nearer the time.
“I struggled with that a bit but once I got through the ropes it was just the normal me really. I knew the fight itself wasn't going to be hard, but it did answer a lot of questions I had in my own head not just about the fight but leading up to the fight as well.”
As a tribute to Westgarth, Spelman has his former opponent’s name embroidered on his shorts and there was even a member of the Westgarth family in the venue cheering him on to victory. “Scott's brother attended and that was a bit emotional,” he revealed.
“His dad couldn't be there but it meant so much that they are behind me. It is not just words, they have turned up to actual fights and have told me they will support me in everything I do. I wasn't going to box again if I didn't get their OK, as I thought that was the respectful thing to do.”
He added: “All the way through the last few months I looked at how I would want somebody to be if the shoe was on the other foot...I will never forget what happened and I don't want to forget. It was always be in the back of my head and that is where I want it and it needs to stay. I will do everything in memory of Scott.”
The Carl Greaves-promoted fighter will now look ahead to the coming season. The 26-year-old hopes to move on to English and British title level, his bout against Westgarth was an eliminator for the British light-heavyweight belt, and should he get there he will no doubt once again be supported by the Westgarth family.
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