Up-and-comer Steve Spark has stepped up on a moment’s notice after Michael Zerafa officially pulled out of his July 7 clash with Tim Tszyu. Zerafa withdrew just a week out from the fight after his team raised concerns about COVID-19 restrictions, giving Spark the opportunity of a lifetime to headline the pay-per-view card on Main Event. Having pursued Tszyu for years, Zerafa’s camp was unwilling to risk a potential 14-day quarantine if things worsened in New South Wales and decided to turn his back on the event. However, not everyone is buying the excuse.
“We knew from the moment he looked Tim in the eyes at the press conference and went quiet that he never wanted this fight,” CEO of No Limit Boxing, George Rose said. “I knew it. Tim knew it. Australia knew it. “He never wanted this fight, and all I can say is I’m sorry for everyone who has wanted this fight for so long”, Rose told Fox Sports. Nevertheless, undefeated Tszyu will now face the 24-year-old Queenslander, who has a record of 12-1, with 11 of those wins coming via knockout.
When: Wednesday, July 7
Where: Newcastle Entertainment Centre
How to Watch: Main Event on Foxtel and Kayo
Odds: Tszyu $1.05 $5, Spark $8.50
With the fight being held at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Tim Tszyu was forced to bolt north two weeks before the fight due to Sydney’s recent COVID restrictions. Training out of San Souci, Tszyu left Sydney on Wednesday, June 23rd, and will finish the rest of his training camp in Newcastle. Due to his popularity in the area, Newcastle Entertainment Centre has been renamed the “Tszyucastle Entertainment Centre”. Tim Tszyu first fought there in March, but his dad, Kostya fought there seven times.
Where to Watch Tszyu vs Spark
Fans can watch Tim Tszyu v Steve Spark on Main Event available on Foxtel and Kayo, from 7pm AEST Wednesday 7th of July for $59.95. This will be the fourth time Tszyu’s fights have been made available for streaming on Kayo following wins over Jeff Horn Bowyn Morgan and Dennis Hogan.
Tszyu vs Spark Time in Australia
Tszyu vs. Spark begins its live coverage of the main card at 7pm local time in Australia, which is 10am in the UK and 5am on the east coast of the US. Main event ringwalks are expected to take place at some time after 9:30pm AEST/12:30pm BST/ 7:30am ET, though as ever the exact start time of the headline attraction will depend on how long the undercard runs.
The Match Up
After Zerafa’s shock withdrawal, all attention now shifts onto Steve Spark and whether he, on seven days notice, can pose a threat to Aussie boxing’s superstar, Tim Tszyu. To make an uphill struggle even steeper, Spark (12-1) will jump up a division to super welterweight to face the undefeated Tszyu (18-0) on July 7. Howbeit, Spark’s most recent win came over Jack Brubaker, an opponent he shares with Tsyzu, via unanimous decision on the undercard of Paul Gallen v Lucas Brown in April.
Tszyu will step in to the ring heavily favoured on Wednesday night but he’s not taking his new opponent lightly. “He’s a dangerous fighter with a lot of power”, Tszyu told Fox Sports. “I’ve seen it for myself. I was ringside at the fight in Wollongong when he hammered Jack Brubaker, and saw how well he did under the bright lights. He has power, stamina and keeps the pressure on. I know he’s coming to hit and hit hard.”
Steve Spark says his underdog mentality will bode inside the ropes, believing he can spoil the party in Steel city. “I’ve dreamt about fighting Tim Tszyu and obviously this has come a little bit quicker than I expected but that’s a good thing. I’m fit and I’m ready and I’m coming to Newcastle to win,” Spark said. “This is Cinderella Man, this is Rocky! This is my golden ticket. If I can go out there and dethrone the biggest name in Australian boxing then I’m right where I want to be”.
How can I watch the Tszyu vs Spark Pay-Per-View fight live in Australia?
The Tszyu vs Spark fight is available for AUD$59.95 on Foxtel or streamed on Kayo as a Pay-Per-View event.
Who is Steve Spark?
Steve Spark is a 24-year-old boxer from Toowomba in Queensland. He turned professional in 2014, and has a record of 12-1, with 11 of those wins coming via knockout.