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Dec Spelman returns to the ring after death of Scott Westgarth

Dec Spelman
Dec Spelman
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Dec Spelman made a winning return as he resumed his boxing career again, climbing back in the ring for the first time since the tragic death of his opponent, Sheffield’s Scott Westgarth.

Light heavyweight Spelman beat 43-year-old Czech journeyman Jindrich Velecky, who had started the night with a W19 L53 record, and had been beaten by South Yorkshire’s Dave Allen three years ago.

The return to the squared circle, after the tragedy, was more important than the four-rounder itself at the North Notts Arena, Worksop.

Spelman, 26, had been devastated after learning that Westgarth suffered a fatal brain injury in their contest at Doncaster Dome on February 24. He’d questioned his own will to continue in the sport.

His return was welcomed by Sheffield Boxing Centre trainer Glyn Rhodes, who was in 31-year-old Westgarth’s corner on the night of his death.

“We at SBC were delighted to see Dec back in the ring” he told The Star.

“He is a genuine man and after Scott’s death he was as remorseful as anybody. He was respectful throughout the aftermath of the tragedy, including his attendance at Scott’s funeral.

“It was a tragic time for everybody, but we’re glad he is moving on as we are, while always retaining a place in our heart for Scott.”

On the same bill, Kyle Fox, a 24-year-old from Hatfield, outpointed Jordan Grannum, a Londoner over eight rounds.

And Swallownest’s Sonny Price, 21, claimed his fourth career win over super lightweight journeyman Kristian Laight.

Sheffield-trained Sunny Edwards chalked up his eighth straight win on a Frank Warren bill in Belfast. At bantamweight, he outpointed Nicaraguan Cristian Narvaez at the Odyssey Arena.

At Villa Park, Birmingham, Sheffield’s Lee Connelly came second-best over six-rounds to unbeaten Ishmael Ellis at lightweight.

Connelly put on a good performance and his coach Robbie Sivyer thought he’d done enough to draw at least.