Get your boxing tips ahead of an all-Australian grudge match between undefeated Tim Tszyu and hastily-arranged replacement opponent Steve Spark.
- Tszyu – 18-0 (14 by KO/TKO)
- Spark – 12-1 (11 by KO/TKO)
- Tszyu def Dennis Hogan – Rd 5 TKO – March 31, 2021
- Spark def Jack Brubaker – Unanimous Decision – April 21, 2021
Final thoughts: With Michael Zerafa pulling out of a hotly anticipated grudge match with Tim Tszyu with a week’s notice, Steve Spark has stepped into the breach to take on the WBO Global light-middleweight champ in Newcastle.
Unsurprisingly, Tszyu heads in as a red-hot $1.07 favourite to defeat the comparatively unknown Spark.
Tszyu boasts 14 knockout victories since his pro debut in late-2016 – including four straight TKO results in the past 18 months. A Round 8 stoppage of Jeff Horn last August confirmed Tszyu as a bona fide star, dominating his high-profile opponent from the outset.
The 26-year-old needed less than two minutes to put away Bowyn Morgan in December. In his most recent bout, Tszyu demonstrated his punching power, technical ability and killer instinct with a TKO defeat of well-credentialled Dennis Hogan in March. Hogan’s corner threw in the towel after a brutal body assault in the fifth round.
Tim Tszyu stops Dennis Hogan in the 5th 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/1t8EQQDc1N
— b0xingfan (@b0xingfan) March 31, 2021
Spark has just one loss against him in a 13-fight pro career. A unanimous decision over Jack Brubaker – a fourth-round TKO victim of Tszyu’s in 2019 – in April was Spark’s first victory that didn’t come by knockout.
The 24-year-old Queenslander has made a name for himself on the super-lightweight and welterweight scenes with his skilful, hard-hitting performance. Spark is moving up a division to take this fight, but he is hard as nails and won’t take a backward step.
There’s far more at stake here for Tszyu. A maiden loss to a low-profile opponent would damage his reputation – and ultimate goal of a world title shot – far more than a win will enhance it. But he is the easily the superior boxer and should be too good for the gritty Spark, who is on limited preparation and entering uncharted territory moving up a weight class.
"Tim Tszyu better be careful." 👀 👀
Boxing fans may not know Steve Spark, but Jeff Fenech does – and the Aussie boxing icon has some chilling advice for Tim Tszyu. #TszyuSpark pic.twitter.com/5uTkT7VBRN
— Sporting News Australia (@sportingnewsau) July 2, 2021