Shakan Pitters V Dec Spelman. Saturday 14th September
images: Michael Ault Photography
It was a justifiably weary yet cool, calm and collected Shakan Pitters that emerged victorious from the bubbling hot cauldron that is fight night at Bethnal Green’s York Hall, becoming the new English Light Heavyweight Champion after what turned out to be an action packed battle against the previous title holder Dec Spelman.
It was no easy task for the Birmingham boxer. Spelman did everything that he could to evade the sharp straight lefts and rights that Pitters cannoned at him tirelessly and to get inside where he could land his most potent weapon, the left hook, but Pitters displayed his ring-worthy prowess with great footwork, very accurate punching and the type of stubbornness that was needed over the ten rounds to wrestle and subsequently wrench the title from the Champion’s grasp.
It was the second time the two had met in the ring. In their previous contest, the Final of Ultimate Boxxer II held at the O2 in London, Pitters was awarded the ‘Golden Robe’ by Paulie Malignaggi after all three judges scored in favour of the 6ft 6in Midlands pugilist. And it was a convincing win – Spelman was sent to the canvas in the final minute of the first round after sustaining some serious nose damage and despite being able to continue through to the contest’s conclusion he was never really in the bout after that knockdown.
Nonetheless the York Hall clash was a difficult one to call ahead of the fixture. This was a ten not a three round fight like the one at the O2 (Pitters’s first ten rounder) and Spelman was not only skilful, rough, rugged and well prepared he was also a Champion now. And a worthy one at that.
In the defence of his cherished title the Scunthorpe boxer also known as ‘Kid Nytro’ tested Pitters’s chin and resolve on more than one occasion. Round two was a particularly good round for him as was the opening minute of the following round and some fight fans and perhaps judges would maybe have argued that his relentlessly aggressive come forward style and the degree of success that he gained from it should have secured a different outcome for him, but he did tire as the fight progressed and whatever success he found early on in the fight was mitigated as the battle unfolded and Pitters, on the back of his own successes, grew in confidence and increasingly found the range, speed and power needed to sway the scorecards his way.
Both fighters showed grit and determination whilst both corners buoyed their boxer’s with more than solid advice and ample energetic encouragement. Whilst Trainer Carl Greaves, a former Super Featherweight Champion himself, implored Spelman to walk through his tiring opponents shots to get some of his own power shots in with everything he had – in the opposite corner Eastside Boxing Club’s Coach Paul Counihan was demanding his fighter to maintain the articulate barrage of straight punches that had been the hallmark of his mounting success.
No-one in their right mind could disagree that the fixture, a rugged blood sweat and through the gears battle, was arguably the fight of the night. And when all was said and done, on the back of a performance that he could be proud of and on the 22nd occasion of the Title being contested, Shakan Pitters, by unanimous decision, became the new BBBofC English Light Heavyweight Champion.