Originally scheduled to face Blake Minto (14-2-2, 3 KOs) on May 7 in a domestic blockbuster, Stevie Spark (14-2, 13 KO’s) has had a massive change in plans. Due to a positive COVID-19 test on the part of Minto, the 25 year old now finds himself facing a former World title challenger later this year.
Speaking exclusively to The Inner Sanctum the Super Lightweight revealed the hardship of training overseas, an unknown fight in Thailand and an insight into his next opponent who he will face in June.
The abandoned fight with Minto, set to headline ACE Boxing Group’s May 7 card, has been a sore point for a letdown Spark, though he has found a worthy new opponent.
“Having pulled out like this is definitely a bit of a letdown. You know, I also had COVID before I fought River [Daz] and sure, a lot of people had,” Spark confidently said to The Inner Sanctum.
“But look, it is what it is. He’s got to look after his health first and I respect that.
Unbeknown to most, the man known as ‘The Viking’ undertook a sixth-round fight while training over in Thailand against Chan Sala (3-2, 1 KO’s), one he describes as a “stay busy” clash after fighting against River Daz (3-1-1, 1 KO) in March.
The camp in Thailand came about after Spark’s trainer and managers suggested that the Australian go to the South-East Asian country to prepare for his fight against Minto.
“As the camp was progressing, the fight did pop up and it was just a more so keep busy fight and I ended up getting a second-round knockout,” he explained.
“It worked well in our favour there and we got the fight and got good training in.”
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Despite not facing the 29-year-old Novocastrian Minto, in what would have been another major domestic showdown for Spark, the Toowoomba native is now set to square off against former World-title challenger Apinun Khongsong (18-1, 15 KO’s) on June 11. The Thai is widely known for having fought Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KO’s) for the WBA, IBF, and The Ring Magazine Super Lightweight titles in September of 2020.
Interestingly, both Khongsong and Spark fought in Thailand recently. In fact, they were on the same April 10 card and coincidentally, the two 25-year-old’s recorded knockout victories against Tanpisit Chairach (3-1, 2 KOs) and Chan Sala respectively.
Having seen his opponent first hand, the Queenslander is aware of what the meeting means, both in terms of the in ring challenge and the boost a win would give his career.
“Our aim is to obviously be a World champion and to be the best you have to beat the best. This is exactly what we are planning on doing,” Spark claimed.
“He’s Thai Royalty in boxing and well-known in the world of boxing, so if I go out there and put on a great performance, it speaks levels of where I am at.”
With a place inside the World rankings on the line, Spark strongly expressed his desire to get inside the various rankings for the four major boxing regulatory bodies.
He knows that the WBC Australasia title that he currently holds could be key to gaining a number next to his name for the first time in his eight-year career.
“I want to be in the top ten of two of them, and I just have to keep fighting,” Spark concluded.
“It’s about gaining that experience and fighting as many different styles that I can, so that when I do come to the point where I get to fight for a World title, I’ve seen it all and nothing bothers me.
“I just want to keep defending my WBC title and for it to take me up on the rankings.
“My goal by the end of the year was to be in the top 15 of two of the organization’s top ten, top 15, you know, through the organization, whether it be WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF or one of them, it doesn’t matter.”
Stevie Spark v Apinun Khongsong goes down June 11th at Rumours International, Toowoomba. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
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