THERE’S an early New Year’s test for Ashington boxer Ian Turnbull tonight (Thursday) when he faces tough journeyman Alex Spitko at the Pullman Lodge Hotel in Sunderland.
In what could well be the sternest test to date for the young fighter, Turnbull, currently with two wins and a draw under his belt, can be assured of a hard night’s work against his Latvian opponent, now based out of Mansfield, who always comes to fight.
Spitko, who has five wins from his 37 fights, is vastly more experienced than the north east fighter and not an opponent to be taken lightly.
Although the losing record might not show it, given an opening Spitko can whack – as anyone who saw his devastating first round KO of Scotsman Willie Bilan back in 2007 will testify.
“Spitko is definitely going to be a tough test for me,” confirmed Turbull, who also doubles as a youth worker.
“He’s KO’d five opponents so he can definitely punch.
“I’ve watched a few of his fights and I know that he is always fit, well prepared and extremely tough.
“His record is deceiving too as he has boxed some of the best middleweights in the country and has given a good account of himself.”
Novice pro Turnbull has revealed steady improvement already in his three fights to date, showing a willingness to force the pace of bouts while working behind a solid jab and an effective straight right.
In his last fight against Prince David Davis (October 7, 2010) the 25-year-old took a few rounds to find the range with his lead hand and will want to establish the jab earlier in this contest.
Although only aged 24, Spitko has been in with some ‘big’ names, including Commonwealth light-welter champ Ajose Olusegun (l TKO 3) and recent Prizefighter winner Gary Buckland (l TKO 3), but has often been stopped when he has stepped up in class, so if Turnbull can end proceedings early he will have a good scalp on his record.
“Preparation has been going great and I’m 100 per cent ready and confident,” he said.
“Training over Christmas and New Year has definitely been tough but when I get in the ring, I’ll know that I’ve put the work in and done everything right and that the sacrifice will be worthwhile.”