Tim Tszyu has vowed to end Stevie Spark’s “fairytale”, as the pair prepare to go head-to-head in their much-anticipated fight.
The time for talk is over.
After the will-they, won’t-they show between Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa last week, they day of the fight has arrived.
Except of course, Tszyu will now take on Queensland’s Stevie Spark after he stepped in following Zerafa’s controversial withdrawal.
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Zerafa, who is based in Melbourne, raised concerns about the health and safety of the fight.
His camp refused to travel to Newcastle, where the bout was due to be held, after the latest Covid-19 outbreak in NSW.
But according to a Sydney Morning Herald report, Tszyu opted to cancel rather than postpone the showdown with Zerafa over concerns a delay could torpedo his chances of contesting for a world title in his next fight.
Spark, who pulls beers at a Toowoomba pub to supplement the money he makes from boxing, goes into the Tszyu fight as a huge underdog.
The 24-year-old has described the opportunity has his “Cinderella moment”.
“I’ve dreamed about fighting Tim Tszyu and obviously this has come a little bit quicker than I expected, but that’s a good thing,” he said last week.
Tszyu’s global profile is seemingly growing, with Wednesday’s fight set to be streamed in the United States on ESPN+.
While Spark’s record is solid (12-1), Tszyu is undefeated (18-0, 14 KOs) and sees their fight purely as a stepping stone on his way to fighting for the WBO super-welterweight title in the US.
There was one final bit of showmanship at Tuesday’s weigh-in, where Spark leaned over and whispered in Tszyu’s ear: “I’m going to end you”.
Tszyu hit back: “Oh yeah? The fairytale is over. It’s just you and me in that ring.”
Spark was talking a big game ahead of the fight. “The time for talk is over. I’m coming for war, I’m coming to take Tim Tszyu out,” he said.
Tszyu was having none of it and wants to be the villain in Spark’s fairytale story.
“Tomorrow (Wednesday) night it ends,” Tszyu said. “You can act like one thing on TV and you can act like something else in person.
“The way he acts on TV is not how he is out there.”
The undercard has already been violent, after Sam Ah See brutally knocked out his opponent in the first round following six years in the boxing wilderness.
How can I watch the fight?
What time is the fight?
Coverage will start from 7pm tonight, but as we know with boxing, timings are rarely exact. Tszyu and Spark likely won’t enter the ring before 9.30pm AEST, with the opening bell on the main event probably leaning closer to 10pm
Where is the fight being held?
After the much-publicised back-and-forth between the Tszyu and Zerafa camps, the fight between Tszyu and Spark will be held at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the venue’s capacity has been capped at 50 per cent.
What are the betting odds?
Tszyu is an unbackable favourite with the bookies paying $1.04 for him to win the fight.
Spark has extremely long odds of $9.50.
In other markets, Tszyu is $1.22 to win by knockout or TKO and is also paying $6 to win in the first round.
Full fight card?
Tim Tszyu vs Stevie Spark: WBO Global and vacant Commonwealth super welterweight titles
Liam Wilson vs Joe Noymay: WBO Asia-Pacific super featherweight title
Wade Ryan vs Troy O’Meley: IBO international super welterweight title
Sam ah See vs Czar Amonsot: Welterweight
Linn Sanstrom vs Natalie Gonzales Hills: Vacant ANBF Australasian super flyweight title
Miles Zalewski vs Le Fook