Having moved up in weight for his last two bouts, Stevie Spark (12-2-0, 11 KOs) is relishing the chance to shine in the more natural Super Lightweight class in 2022. To kick off his newest campaign in the division, Spark will face River Daz (3-0-1, 1 KO) on No Limit Boxing’s March 2nd show at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre.
The bout will be Spark’s first contest since a July loss to WBO Super Welterweight mandatory Tim Tszyu (20-0-0,15 KOs). With news of Michael Zerafa’s (29-4, 18 KOs) withdrawal due to COVID-19 concerns emerging in the days leading up to the Tszyu fight, the 25-year old Spark stepped up two weight classes for the challenge.
The man known as ‘The Viking’ broke into the Australian boxing public’s eye when he put together a brilliant performance against Welterweight, Jack Brubaker in April 2021. From the contest, Brubaker stated that he felt his teeth rattle in a way that he’d never felt before, such is the might of the blows he wore.
Knowing that his power will carry into every contest is something Spark believes will hold him in good stead in his move back down in weight.
“I know eventually I will have to move up to Welterweight and one day maybe Super-Welterweight, but right now I am still growing,” he told The Inner Sanctum.
“One thing in boxing, if you want to move up the weight-classes you have to have the power to move up the categories, otherwise you won’t be able to keep them off you.
“It was really good to hear Jack say I was one of the hardest to hit him because he is a tough, tough man. He has fought everyone.”
Awaiting Spark will be an undefeated combat sports veteran in River Daz, who is fresh off a split decision win over Hunter Ioane (8-4-1, 5 KOs) in October last year. The duo will meet for the WBC Australasia title, currently in Spark’s possession.
Though Daz will be relatively unknown to the majority of the Australian public, he is not a fighter worth treating lightly. While he might be reasonably fresh in boxing terms, the Victorian is no stranger to fighting, and is undefeated in Muay Thai and Kickboxing.
Despite the relative inexperience of the 28 year old within the squared circle, the Victorian has defeated three of his four boxing opponents since making his debut in the sport in 2016.
Not shy of taking on the unique challenge, Spark knows that if he overlooks Daz that he will pay the ultimate price. He expects that his opponent’s style will force the duel into a war of attrition.
“It’s going to be a very calculated but fast-pace fight, his style versus my style. I think stylistically we match up very good,” he told.
“I have only watched one of his fights and he [River] wore the punches like they were nothing, so we will have to wait and find out once my power hits his chin.
“I’m expecting anything and everything. The performance people can expect from me is explosive and exciting. That is always what I want to continue to be is exciting.”
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One lesson that emerged from Spark’s loss against Tszyu is that the Queenslander needed to become a full-time fighter if he wanted to progress his career. To stay in the gym a lot more often than he did in the build-up to that particular fight.
From the loss though, Spark has transitioned from a part-time fighter who juggled work-related commitments to a dedicated athlete, able to fully focus on taking his career to the next level.
“The lesson I learned was probably to stay in the gym a bit more. You can come out and say a bunch of stuff, but I wasn’t even in the gym. I had nothing coming up [and] was on the beers 10 days before the fight,” he lauded.
“I wanted to step in and give it my very best for as long as I can. We had a bit of a game-plan, I knew I had power and Tim said I had power.
“I guess it has now put me in a better position. I have learned the lesson of being a full-time athlete since that fight, I don’t work anymore. I’m training non-stop.
“I wouldn’t have got that fight with Tim unless I had put on the performance I had against Jack Brubaker. Everything falls into line sometime in the sport of Boxing.”
Refreshed, rejuvenated and back at Super Lightweight, Spark is extremely excited to put together a string of big fights this year.
He is also driven by the fact that he wants to become a pay-per-view star and a true household name amongst the Australian boxing public, noting that he has built a great relationship with fans across the country.
“I just want to continue to give the fans the fights. I want to continue to be a pay-per-view star myself and headline these types of shows on TV and be a household name within Australia,” he said.
“The way I have to do that is to keep getting on tv no matter what show it is and keep putting on good performances.
“The Australian public sort of resonated with me and kicked off a great relationship, I have to keep performing well and taking the fights that people want to see me take.
“I am willing to take on any challenge possible to get a fight or to take the fights that fans want.”
Spark further reiterated that he is looking for any fight that can further progress his career, but is ultimately focused on the task at hand.
However, he concluded by teasing a potential clash with Irish-born Darragh Foley (19-4-1, 9 KOs), scathing the potential opponent in the process.
“It’s anyone who is going to progress my career, but I have to get through River Daz first,” he finished.
“If he can beat me, he piggybacks off my name so I can’t let him win of course. So I am very focused on getting through him.
“I keep mentioning it, but I am getting sort of sick of it the narrative of me and Darragh Foley fighting.
“I’m getting over mentioning his name, to be honest. I guess it creates more hype, but after this fight, I’m going to mention it one more because it’s up to the other side to make it.”
Spark vs Daz goes down on March 2 as part of No Limit Boxing’s Brisbane show, headlined by the debut of Nikita Tszyu. The event will be broadcast on Fox Sports and Kayo.
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