<
>

Dec Spelman: Death of opponent Scott Westgarth always in my head

Dec Spelman, pictured in action in 2017, was beaten by Scott Westgarth before he tragically died following their fight. Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dec Spelman admitted the death of boxer Scott Westgarth is always in his mind as he acknowledged he hasn't thought about his boxing future.

Westgarth, 31, died after being rushed to hospital in the aftermath of his points victory over Spelman in Doncaster on Saturday.

"It is the first thing I think of when I get up, last thing I think of when I go to bed at the minute. It is always in my head," Spelman told Sky Sports. "In the post-fight interview, we had gone 10 hard rounds, and even then I just thought he was a bit dazed -- as did everyone I think.

"I never for a second thought there was a problem. The next day I had a few missed phone calls and I was a bit down about losing my unbeaten record and then my mum turned up and told me the news. It doesn't seem real. There are no words for how you feel."

Spelman [11-1, 7KOs] lost his unbeaten record in the fight against Westgarth, but he will not get back into the ring without the blessing of the deceased boxer's family.

"It is going to be a long couple of weeks and the rest, before I make any decisions," Spelman admitted.

"[Retiring] has definitely gone through my head but then I have got to weigh it up.

"I one hundred per cent won't do anything until I get a blessing off his family -- I want their answer first, I have got to take that into consideration."

Spelman also shared that Westgarth's family have been supportive of him after the tragedy in the ring.

"I had a nice message from his dad passed on through his brother," said Spelman. "It was kind words, they are a really nice boxing family.

"I look forward to seeing them again and having a proper chat.

"That night Scott was quite a big underdog against me and he turned up and he boxed out of his skin and he got the win -- a good win.

"And afterwards, you could see what a nice guy he was.

"He will be a big loss. It saddens me to know he is not going to go on."