23/04/2024

Stevie Spark defeated Montana Love to claim the WBA Intercontinental Super Lightweight Title (Photo: Matchroom Boxing/ Twitter)

Against the odds, Stevie Spark (16-2, 14KO) defeated Montana Love (18-1-1, 9KO) in his hometown after the American intentionally dunked his opponent out of the ring.

The victory for Spark won him the WBA Intercontinental Super Lightweight Title.

The fight started with Spark trying to assert himself against the superior counterpunch. Love however, was able to find his range and get the better of the exchanges on the inside.

Spark would have a good moment during the first round, when he trapped Love against the corner and roughed him up with punches up close and in the clinch, which visibly frustrated the hometown favourite.

The first minute of the second started with Love hitting his opponent at will, it looked like the American had the fight in control before he was suddenly knocked down by a hook cross combination from Spark.

Love was able to answer the count and Spark attempted to blitz his opponent before the round ended.

After the disastrous second round for Love, the next two rounds would feature a similar story, with the American starting the regain control of the fight. This was due to Spark being less accurate with his flurries as well as Love utilising his superior defensive skills.

Round five was all Spark, as he unloaded on Love at every opportunity he got. The Aussie did a great job of mixing his shots up on the inside with hard shots to the body and head.

The sixth round however had an ugly start, with an accidental clash of heads that cut Montana Love. Despite the ringside doctors deeming the American fit to continue, he said that he was going to watch the cut for another minute.

Had the fight been stopped, the victor would be determined by the scorecards up to that point and given that he had a knockdown scored against him, Love went for a finish.

After the two brawled for a few seconds, they clinched against the ropes. In a bizarre turn of events, Love tipped Spark out of the ring as the Aussie landed perfectly on his feet. Given that the act was intentional, the referee ruled the bout in favour of Spark by disqualification.

Montana’s team immediately protested the stoppage and called out the referee for not penalizing Spark’s potential usage of elbows and headbutts.

In his post-fight interview Spark expressed his disappointment with the outcome.

“The fight didn’t go as expected, I’m super devastated” Spark said, “I got the early knockdown, I’m just devastated as (the fans), it was warming up to be a fantastic fight.

“I come into this ring and fight with all my heart, so just like Montana Love does, we were going to give you one hell of a show and unfortunately this is how boxing goes sometimes”.

When asked about a potential rematch, Montana stated he was open to run it back with his Aussie foe..

“Whatever Eddie (Hearn) wants to call, we can definitely do it again” Love said, “this man can’t outbox me, can’t outfight me, none of that, and that’s what I wanted to prove tonight.

“We were definitely going to drown him in the later rounds, that was our whole gameplan, he’s never been past eight rounds.”

Given that this is one of the most bizarre stoppages in boxing this year, it is almost certain that boxing fans will be treated to a rematch between these two men.

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