Stevie Spark hoped to pull a Rocky story, but Tim Tszyu had no time for the Hollywood fairy tale, dominating Spark en route to a third round stoppage win.
Tszyu (19-0, 15 KO) didn’t do anything unexpected, overpowering a naturally smaller man who took the fight on a week’s notice when Michael Zerafa pulled out, saving the event for boxing fans in Australia. Spark gave his best effort, but it was clear he couldn’t do much to Tszyu, and that Tszyu’s shots were hurting him from the first round on.
Tough as Spark was, he couldn’t stay up in the third round, dropped twice on body shots when referee Brad Vocale stopped the fight at 2:22 for a Tszyu TKO win.
“I had fun in there, that’s the main thing,” Tszyu said. “I’ve got one objective in my mind, to take whomever out that’s in front of me. I’ve got all respect to Stevie Spark. But this is my ring, this is my division, and I’m here to stay.”
Tszyu did not call out the winner of the upcoming Jermell Charlo vs Brian Castano fight, which will be for the undisputed championship of the division.
“There’s Liam Smith, (Magomed) Kurbanov, and Danny Garcia, they’re the three guys I’m going for,” he said. “So if you’re watching, boys, I’m coming for you.”
“I took this fight on seven days’ notice, I stepped up two weight classes,” Spark said. “Guys, I did it for you, I did it for Newcastle, I did it for the Australian boxing public. I love fighting and giving everyone a show. The hype is real, Tim’s a quality opponent. He’s a future world champion, that bloke, and I’m glad I got to share the ring with him. This is an experience I’m going to take a long, long time in my career. This is only going to help me mature.”
- Joe Noynay KO-5 Liam Wilson: Damn good action fight. Wilson (9-1, 6 KO) came in hopeful, a 25-year-old Aussie looking to make a big move at 130 lbs. Noynay (19-2-2, 8 KO) kinda found him out pretty bad, though, with due respect to the fact that it’s clear Wilson does have ability. Wilson was down once in the first round, twice in the fourth, and again in the fifth when the referee stepped in. Wilson may have been overconfident, may have believed a bit too much that banging with Noynay was the right idea. It just wasn’t. Noynay is a tough fighter, a fringe contender at 130, a step up, and on the whole he kinda trucked Wilson here. I did give Wilson the two rounds where he didn’t get dropped; again, he has ability, but now we have to wonder about his defense, about his punch resistance, etc.
- Wade Ryan TKO-6 Troy O’Meley: The battling veteran Ryan (19-9, 7 KO) won a split decision over O’Meley (11-2, 2 KO) in December, and O’Meley went back at him for this return bout, but this time Ryan did the job in more dominant fashion, scoring a stoppage after six. The punching power in Ryan’s favor was a big difference here, because O’Meley fought bravely and had some moments, but he couldn’t dent the 31-year-old “Mayo,” and he found himself dented repeatedly. O’Meley was down in the fifth round, but bless him he gave it all he had in the sixth before the fight was stopped in the corner after that round. He was also cut early in the fight, which didn’t help him any. He gave a great effort, but Ryan was the better fighter.
- Sam Ah See TKO-1 Czar Amonsot: This is the same Amonsot, now 35, who had the lightweight war with Michael Katsidis on the Hopkins-Wright card in 2007, then briefly retired because of a brain bleed. But he’s been fighting regularly since 2009. Doesn’t seem to have much left as a welterweight, as Ah See (14-0-1, 7 KO) was bigger, sharper, quicker, stronger, and bowled over Amonsot (35-6-3, 22 KO) inside of a round. Amonsot was down once, and the referee rightly stepped in when Ah See started unloading shots as soon as the action resumed. Ah See hadn’t fought since 2015, but at 30 could still make waves on the domestic level.
- Linn Sandstrom D-6 Natalie Gonzales Hills: I thought Sandstrom (1-1-1) was very lucky to escape with a draw here, and giving her four of the six rounds as one judge did is nuts to me. I had this 59-55 for Gonzales Hills (0-0-1), who wasn’t exactly in there looking like she’s ready to threaten top fighters at the lower weights (this was the 115 lb division) but was far more active, threw a lot more, landed a good deal more. Commentary focused on her landing a lot on the gloves, but not so much on the fact Sandstrom wasn’t landing much at all past the first round other than the occasional jab that Gonzales Hills walked onto, which also didn’t deter her from continuing to march forward and throw.