British boxing champ Steve Spence of Scunthorpe looking to defend title at Lincoln area venue
BRITISH Masters Light Middleweight champion Steve Spence will put his title on the line for the first time at the beginning of March.
The 26-year-old Scunthorpe fighter will take on unbeaten Lincoln pro Steve Swinburn at the North Kesteven Centre in Hykeham.
Spence won the belt during October, as a result of victory over Andrew Patterson by technical knockout.
And he is confident, with two months to prepare, of holding on to it for a while longer – especially as it will be the first time Swinburn, nicknamed 'Stone Cold', has fought over 10 rounds.
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"I'm going to do it properly," said Spence of his preparation.
"I've got eight weeks to get ready for it – I've already started sparring.
"I'm going to make sure I can punch non-stop for 10 rounds, that's what suits me.
"If he comes to fight me, that will suit me as well. If he wants to hide, he'll struggle over 10 rounds.
"He boxed the kid I took the belt off and had a bit of a tear up.
"On paper he's undefeated and he can do this and do that.
"This is over 10 rounds though – it's not a four round fight. It's a different story.
"He might be a sharp, tidy boxer, but you can't hide for 10 rounds."
A busload of Spence's fans will travel to watch the contest, where the former Scunthorpe Centurions amateur will be the home fighter.
Since winning the belt he has fought three much-shorter contests, losing on points to Jimmy Doherty, John Fewkes and Callum Hancock over four three-minute rounds.
The latter of those contests was particularly galling for journeyman Spence – who admitted before Christmas to the Telegraph he was growing disillusioned with some of the judges' decisions he had been the victim of.
"I got sick of it a bit before Christmas," he added.
"The last fight I had in Sheffield was a four-rounder. The other kid broke his hand, I hardly got hit yet I still supposedly lost two rounds.
"I'm not doing those sorts of fights anymore, they're a nightmare. The judges are influenced by the home crowd.
"I've got this defence and if I win, then I can go on to bigger things.
"I should get a shot at a Midlands title or get six rounders with some good kids.
"I got asked if I wanted fights in between, but I've said I don't."
Swinburn, a former kickboxer who fights out of the stable run by new Scunthorpe United director Dennis Hobson, has won six and drawn two of his eight bouts.
To buy tickets for the fight, contact Steve Spence on 07549 561120.