Paul Economides believes he is stuck between a ‘rock and hard place’ after being dealt another blow in his bid to climb the British super bantamweight rankings.
The 28-year-old from Vicars Cross was due to fight a strong opponent from eastern Europe at York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday night but was forced to step into the ring with 47-year-old journeyman Delroy Spencer, a fighter with 156 losses on his record and just 14 wins, after his scheduled opponent was allegedly arrested for an unknown offence at an airport en route to the UK.
Economides, who defeated Spencer with ease in six rounds, has suffered numerous setbacks in recent months including his planned fight on the ill-fated Roy Jones Jr bill in Liverpool, where Ghanaian opponent Prosper Ankrah missed his flight, forcing the cancellation of the fight.
And Economides’ disappointment on Saturday came on the same night that one of his divisional rivals, Gavin McDonnell, retained his European title with a convincing win over Jeremy Parodi.
“It always keeps happening to me and I just don’t know what to say, It’s unreal,” said Economides.
“I found out that my planned opponent couldn’t make it while I was there and it was either fight Delroy Spencer or tell everyone to go home.
“It was just like a sparring session, in fact it was easier than a sparring session and I think the crowd knew that. But I needed the rounds as it had been about six months without a fight.
“And then I see the likes of Gavin McDonnell in a European title fight on the same night. I feel I could give him a much tougher test that Jeremy Parodi.”
Economides is scheduled to fight again in Bethnal Green on December 6, possibly against strong Ukrainian Oleksandr Yegorov, the man who suffered his only defeat of his 15-fight career in March when was beaten by McDonnell in a European title decider at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena.
But the Chester-born fighter insists that he won’t be stepping in the ring unless it is with a tough opponent.
“I’m in my prime and I want to be fighting guys who are above me, like Gavin McDonnell, Lewis Pettitt and Jazza Dickens,” said Economides, who trains out of Chester Boxers gym in Hoole.
“I’m not fighting these chumps anymore, I’m way better than that.”
“I’m stuck between a rock and hard place because I am a threat to those guys above me but I’m not a big ticket seller. And until I can get a decent shot at one of them and show what I can do then I don’t know how it’s going to change. All I can do is keep on working at it, but it’s been tough.”