14/04/2024

Toowoomba's Steve Spark will fight Tim Tszyu on a week's notice - Photo: stevespark on Instagram

After Michael Zerafa withdrew from his showdown with Tim Tszyu, Toowoomba's Steve Spark jumped at the chance to fight Australia's best.

News rocked the Australian boxing world on Wednesday afternoon when it was announced that Michael Zerafa had withdrawn from his July 7 showdown with Tim Tszyu.

When one door closes, another one opens however.

Stepping in to fill the vacancy in the main event is Steve Spark (12-1, 11KOs) who impressed many boxing fans with his performance on the Lucas Browne and Paul Gallen undercard in April.

On that night, Spark took a unanimous decision from the incredibly tough Jack Brubaker in what was his pay per view debut. Sharp footwork, heavy punches and fast head movement were the order of the night for the 24 year old.

That said, taking on Tim Tszyu, Australia’s best Super Welterweight, is huge step up. In fact, it is the toughest test available in Australian boxing.

Spark is more than up for the challenge, though.

“I think it’s important the Australian fans get to see a fight happen. They get to see Tim Tszyu fight and they get to see me fight, so that’s exciting,” he told The Inner Sanctum.

“Everyone’s been asking if I’ve got a chance and look, I’ve got more a chance than Michael Zerafa because he didn’t even show up.

“I’m anyone, any time, any place, anywhere, I’ll do it. I’m a fighter and that’s what fighters do.”

Not only will he have to contend with the incredible skill and power of Tszyu, he will be moving up a weight class from the aforementioned bout with Brubaker.

Neither of these factors are occupying his mind at this stage. For Spark, opportunity is the buzzword and one that is not taken is one that is lost.

“I’m not worried about the weight too much, I’m pretty big for my weight anyway. I’m walking around 74 kilo right now,” he told.

“Everything in life’s a risk and you don’t get the reward unless you risk it. Dare to be great.

“I think it’s a good lesson for not just boxing in Australia but the Australian public. Go out there, and if you’ve got dreams and aspirations go after it. Leave no stone unturned because you’ve got one life

“I’m excited for this and like I said, all of the greats have to be able to step up and make these challenges and these adaptions.

“I’m looking forward to going out there and giving it my best shot.

“This is a Mike Tyson v Buster Douglas fight right now. So if I can go out there and pull this off, this would be huge.”

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Such a sharp mental focus is, in part, owed to a number of factors. Hometown support and setting an example for a baby due in September are motivating the Toowoomba native to do great things in the sport.

“I’ve got massive support from Toowoomba. I’m a proud Toowoomba boy,” Spark told.

“I’ve got a baby boy, my first baby boy due in September so I want to set a great example for him when he grows up, the things I took on and the challenges I took on.”

Though Spark will enter the fight as an underdog, he will go to Newcastle with a swag full of pride, courage and determination to hold him in stead.

If he cannot pull off one of the biggest upsets in Australian boxing history, he is determined to give an honest account of himself against the cream of the crop in the sport.

“Let’s get in there and hopefully give the fans a cracking fight,” he concluded.

“I’ve got to set an example right now. This is an example that Michael Zerafa couldn’t set and it’s an example that Paul Gallen put on recently. He said, ‘it’s about having a crack and giving these things in life a shot.’

“You want to be proud of what you did and I want my family to be proud of what I am, what I achieved and what I had a crack at.”

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