Sheffield gym rallies behind man who boxed tragic Scott Westgarth

Dec Spelman, honourable boxer
Dec Spelman, honourable boxer

Sheffield Boxing Centre will be "rooting" for Dec Spelman - the boxer who fought Scott Westgarth hours before he died - to win a £50,000 purse in a TV competition in November.

Spelman emerged with dignity and compassion for the tragedy which claimed the life of Penistone-based Westgarth, last February.

The Scunthorpe light heavyweight, beaten on the night at Doncaster Dome, attended his rival's funeral in Grenoside and has only carried on boxing after being supported in doing so by Westgarth's gym and family.

Glyn Rhodes, SBC owner, said: "We will definitely be rooting for Dec. He has been through hell, as well as everybody on Scott's side.

"Dec will have had to go through what Richie Wenton did (in 1994, Wenton stopped Bradley Stone who later died from a blood clot on the brain) - it is the sort of thing that stays with you forever. We have become  friendly with Dec and we hope he wins the Ultimate Boxxer tournament."

Spelman, who has Westgarth's name designed into his ring shorts, dedicates all his matches to the 31-year-old. “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" he told The Sun.

“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.  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.”

Spelman added: ““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.