‘Gutted’ Dec Spelman opens up on death of opponent Scott Westgarth
Dec Spelman suffered a first defeat in the ring on Saturday in a tragic contest which saw Scott Westgarth lose his life.
At the age of just 31, Westgarth got into difficulty despite having his hand raised in the briefest of glories at Doncaster Dome.
Westgarth was rushed to hospital where he died in the early hours on Monday morning and Spelman is now having to come to terms with what transpired.
An outpouring of love from the boxing community will be much appreciated by Spelman, although ultimately won’t stem the flow of hurt running through his body and mind in the raw days that follow.
Speaking to his local newspaper at The Scunthorpe Telegraph, Spelman admitted he can’t shake images of the fight from his thoughts.
“It brings it home but this is my trade. I have loved boxing all my life and this is all I know,” Spelman told The Scunthorpe Telegraph.
“As a boxer it is in you, it is in your life and you just can’t put that out.
“I am very low at the moment and I can’t get it out of my head. I have been put in this position and it will be a long few weeks.
“Scott was such a good guy who has lost his life doing a sport he loved.
“I am gutted, devastated and heartbroken because he is such a nice guy.
“I have the utmost respect for him but when he got taken to hospital I thought this is serious and it is just heartbreaking.
“This really brings it home and I will have to spend a long couple of weeks thinking about what I want to do.
“You can see from the messages what a great guy he was and I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news.
“I didn’t know him well but he was an opponent who I had studied.”
With his own young family to take care of, Spelman has now witnessed first hand how brutal this sport can be to those who chose to participate.
“We are all fighters in there,” Spelman said. “It is a business and we know the massive risks. I have a little boy, am on the front line and have seen how serious it is.”
Spelman is set to consider his future before making a final decision on whether to compete again.
“The fight doesn’t even come into it but you never think anything like this will happen in your fight. I am absolutely gutted.
“It brings it all home so I will see where I go from here,” he added.
Dale Evans recently retired at aged 26 following the passing of his former foe Mike Towell in 2016, the second boxing fatality to a British fighter in two years.
Previously, there had been no UK boxing deaths for 21 years since two in just eighteen months when Bradley Stone and James Murray died in 1994 and 1995 respectively.