By Simon Jackson
Tony Oakey gets the opportunity to win the title he craves when he fights Steven Spartacus for the vacant British light heavyweight title on May 18 and promoter Mick Hennessy believes contests like this are precisely what the division needs.
"It could kick-start the division," said Hennessy ahead of next Friday's bout at the ExCel Arena in London's Docklands.
"It's an excellent contest between two known, come-forward fighters with big followings and big hearts."
Oakey, 23-2 (5), was bitterly disappointed last month when his bout with Peter Oboh fell through when the former title holder refused to leave his dressing room before the fight. Hearts went out to Oakey who immediately appeared in the ring alongside promoter Frank Maloney to explain the reason for the bout's eleventh hour cancellation.
Oboh has since been stripped of the title he had not defended for almost four years and the ambitious Oakey, who moved to London from his beloved Portsmouth last year to further his career, will surely welcome this opportunity.
"I come from a big family and it is hard seeing less of my two kids," Oakey said before his point's victory over Josip Jalusic in March.
"I have a boy and a girl who live in Havant in Portsmouth; but London is the place for me to be now. I came to realise that doing what I have always done training and boxing-wise wasn't going to be enough to take me on to the next level," the 31 year old continued.
Spartacus, 19-3 (11), won 16 of his first 17 fights before narrowly losing an English title challenge to Peter Haymer in November 2004 who was then making his first title defence.
Hennessy's enthusiasm for the bout is understandable as Haymer's third defence was an even narrower 96-95 defeat of Oakey in June 2005.
"It made perfect sense to make Spartacus-Oakey," Hennessy said. "It keeps a title that has been very stagnant active."