Boxing: Sheffield chef cooks up a surprise as English title contender
Scott Westgarth has not exactly had a traditional boxing career.
The former ski instructor is a chef at Sheffield’s Royal Victoria Holiday Inn and - after no amateur career - first laced up a pair of gloves at the age of 24.
But, incredibly, in two fights time, he could be English light heavyweight champion.
On February 24, the Sheffield Boxing Centre banger takes on Dec Spelman, in a final eliminator. If he wins, he will face the winner of Miles Shinkwin v Liam Conroy, who meet on March 31.
Westgarth will be underdog against Spelman. After six wins, two losses and a draw he has it all on to end Spelman’s 11 fight unbeaten record.
But Westgarth, 31, is confident he can go ten rounds for the first time and redeem some honour for his Hillsborough gym - his buddy Carl Wild was beaten by Spelman in 2016.
Penistone-based Westgarth says: “It is a big step up but it’s a chance I want to take. Dec will probably underestimate me, but if he thinks he will be in for the same sort of night as he had against Carl, he’ll be in for a shock.
“I am a totally different fighter than Carl, I box on the back foot more and Dec will have trouble hitting me with the one big shot he is always looking for. I might have to weather the storm early on.
“But I am a clever boxer and I am looking for this fight to propel me forward.”
Westgarth, who faces Spelman at Doncaster Dome on a Stefy Bull card, doesn’t mind being the underdog.
“I have been that before and got where I am the hard way.
“Boxing is about taking risks and I will take them” said the 31-year-old who broke Sheffielder Christian Kinsiona’s unbeaten record at Bramall Lane 12 months ago
“When I win a part of me will have done it for Carl, he has helped me massively in this training camp.”
Westgarth, who used to live in Kelham Island, Sheffield, added: “My focus is on this fight but if it goes to plan then I’ll get some more experience by boxing again and then be ready for the winner of Shinkwin v Conroy.”