14/04/2024

LIVE BLOG: We're just hours away from Tim Tszyu v Steve Spark. Follow our live updates from the blockbuster card - Photo: @Tim_Tszyu on Twitter

Can't watch Tim Tszyu v Steve Spark? Follow our live blog! All the action from Newcastle in one place from 7pm

Tonight’s blockbuster Tim Tszyu v Steve Spark clash from Newcastle promises to be a treat for Australian boxing fans.

After a tumultuous week that saw Michael Zerafa removed from the main event due to concerns regarding COVID-19 protocols, a once in a life time opportunity emerged for Steve Spark (12-1).

The 24 year old from Toowoomba filled the vacancy with less than a week’s notice, stepping in to what is arguably the toughest test in Australian boxing.

That, of course, comes in the form of the undefeated WBO Global Super Welterweight champion, Tim Tszyu (18-0).

After defeating the late Dwight Ritchie for the title in 2019, Tszyu has defended the belt four times. His most recent triumph coming in March where he defeated former World title challenger Dennis Hogan via fifth round stoppage.

As an added bonus, it was announced earlier this week that the bout will also be contested for the Commonwealth Super Welterweight title.

Without question, Spark is out to create headlines with an underdog victory and live up to the “Cinderella Man” tagline bestowed upon him. Tszyu, on the other hand, will be determined to keep his perfect record in tact and collect yet another belt on his way to a World title fight.

Get comfortable fight fans. This is a night you do not want to miss!

Live Updates

10:13 pm – Thanks for joining us for what was a fun night of fights in Newcastle! This is Liahm O’Brien signing of for The Inner Sanctum. We hope you enjoyed our live coverage of Tszyu v Spark.

10:09 pm – As was to be expected, a brave Steve Spark was ultimately outclassed and outsized by Tim Tszyu who now adds the Commonwealth Super Welterweight title to his cabinet. Make no mistakes though, this will not be the last we see of Spark who will live on for a long time in the minds of Australia’s boxing public.

Tim Tszyu v Steve Spark – WBO Global and Commonwealth Super Welterweight title, 10 rounds

10:06 pm – “I did this for the fans and they needed a fight this week”

A gallant Steve Spark says he is grateful for the opportunity, before calling for support as he outlines his intentions to return to Super Lightweight.

10:04 pm – “If you’re watching boys, I’m coming for ya!”

Draped in championship gold, Tszyu calls out Liam Smith, Magomed Kurbanov and Danny Garcia for next fights.

10:03 pm – Spark showed incredible heart to not only take the fight on short notice, but to continue walking through heavy shots. In the end, the pressure of Tszyu was too much.

10:00 pm – TSZYU ENDS THE FIGHT IN DOMINANT FASHION!

Just 20 seconds after the first knockdown, Spark is dropped again with a left to the body and referee Brad Vocale calls the fight. A third round TKO victory for Tszyu and win 19 of his career.

9:59 pm – With a minute to go in the third, Spark goes down to a heavy left rip to the body. It is clear that he is visibly tiring.

9:56 pm – Sparks corner spills the bucket of ice, buying their fighter time in between rounds.

9:55 pm – Tszyu has seemingly downloaded all the information he needs, immediately taking the centre of the ring and landing the left hook and right uppercut to the head and body as he stalks Spark against the ropes.

9:52 pm – The first round ends with Tszyu landing the heavier punches.

9:50 pm – Through the first two minutes, Spark has done a great job of pressuring and evading the lead hand of Tszyu who is the much bigger fighter.

9:42 pm – As AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blares, Tim Tszyu emerges from his dressing room and through a tunnel of pyrotechnics. The arena then darkens, before the trademark Queen hit, “Another One Bites the Dust” hits the speakers.

9:38 pm – A chorus of drums accompany Steve Spark to the ring, who appears to be feeding into his “Viking” moniker.

9:32 pm – As the Welcome to Country concludes, we see Tim Tszyu and Steve Spark warm up. Both fighters appear incredibly confident. Much of the talk on broadcast has centred on Spark’s career at Super Lightweight, two weight classes below tonight’s bout.

Joe Noynay v Liam Wilson – WBO Asia Pacific Super Featherweight title, 10 rounds

9:28 pm – For Joe Noynay, nothing but admiration can be shown. After spending two weeks in hotel quarantine, the World number seven put on incredibly sharp performance.

9:25 pm – “Liam Wilson, heart of a lion!”

Former World champion Barry Michael is full of praise for the courage displayed by Wilson, but acknowledges that the 25 year old has some defensive gaps to work on.

9:20 pm – NOYNAY WINS BY STOPPAGE!

A number of clean 1-2 combinations land throughout the fifth round, resulting in a fourth knockdown with 20 seconds remaining. Referee Phil Austin with no choice but to stop the fight.

Credit must go to Wilson, showing the heart of a champion in his desire to fight on through adversity. In all, the quick hands of Noynay proved too much and split the guard too often.

9:15 pm – WILSON DOWN TWICE IN THE FOURTH!

A damaging pair of left hooks in the last minute put Wilson on the canvas twice. It is clear that Liam Wilson is hurt and has been warned by Phil Austin that the fight is close to being stopped.

9:11 pm – Incredibly impressive adjustments made by Wilson who has stalked Noynay throughout the third, maintaining distance by pawing with the lead left hand.

Ever resilient, Noynay landed a left hand to end the round and remind his opponent that he is not going anywhere. Worth noting, he is also fighting through a heavily bleeding ear caused by a hard left hook.

9:09 pm – After being dropped in the first, Wilson remained patient and made adjustments throughout the second round, at times pinning Noynay against the ropes with constant pressure.

9:03 pm – A big left hand knocks Wilson down!

Soon after Wilson switched southpaw, Noynay landed a heavy left that made his opponent’s gloves hit the canvas.

8:58 pm – Both fighters have sacrificed a lot for this fight.

Noynay spent two weeks in hotel quarantine, while Liam Wilson has missed his infant daughter’s birthday to fight for the Filipino’s WBO Asia Pacific title.

8:53 pm – We are just moments away from the biggest fight in Liam Wilson’s (9-0) young and blossoming career.

The upcoming bout with the slick Joe Noynay (18-2-2) is one that is bound to have World ranking implications, given that the Filipino Noynay is ranked by three governing bodies and as high as seven with the WBO.

Troy O’Meley v Wade Ryan – IBO International Super Welterweight title, 10 rounds

8:43 pm – “We’ll take on any Super Welterweight in Australia.”

Wade Ryan is riding a wave of momentum and on the back of a truly special performance, is looking to fight for the IBO Intercontinental title in his next bout.

8:38 pm – O’Meley’s corner and referee Phil Austin stop the fight at the end of the sixth!

A truly dominant performance by Wade Ryan, who put on a masterclass of using the jab to set up combinations. A gallant O’Meley had his moments to end the sixth round, however two heavy straight lefts before the bell probably influenced his corner’s decision.

8:33 pm – After a fourth heavy left hand lands to the side of O’Meley’s head, he finally drops at the midway point of the round, but fights on after the standing eight count.

8:31 pm – The fifth round starts with the doctor giving the all clear for the fight to continue despite the cut.

8:29 pm – With every left hand that lands, the cut on O’Meley’s face gets worse. Despite having some success on the inside and avoiding Ryan’s lead hand, he wore a number of hard shots.

8:27 pm – Ryan has done an incredible job so far of establishing distance with his lead hand thus far. The southpaw really started to let his hands go in the third, slipping multiple uppercuts through O’Meley’s guard.

A nasty cut has opened up over O’Meley’s right eye from an accidental head clash.

8:22 pm – Both fighters increased their tempo in the second. Ryan followed his jab with the straight left hand, while O’Meley got on the front foot to throw the overhand right behind his own jab. Each fighter has looked to pressure their opponent towards the ropes.

8:18 pm – Through the first three minutes, Ryan has done well to maintain distance and touch O’Meley with the jab. At times, following up with a left rip to the body.

O’Meley found his rhythm towards the end of the round, landing a couple of overhand rights in middle of vicious flurries.

8:10 pm – This promises to be fireworks.

Wade Ryan and Troy O’Meley produced one of the fights of the year in 2020 for the same IBO title.

Ryan then put on one of this year’s most action packed bouts against Koen Mazoudier in March and will look to make it three wins in a row against a familiar opponent.

8:05 pm – “I’m ready to go, this is the job I do.”

Steve Spark looks and sounds incredibly focused as he has his hands wrapped by his trainers.

Czar Amonsot v Sam Ah See – Welterweight, 8 rounds

7:57 pm – “Wasn’t too much ring rust…. I just had a feeling I was going to hurt him.”

A confident Ah See is clearly on top of the world following his dominant performance. When asked who he would like to fight next, he threw up the names; Kyron Dryden, Jack Brubaker, Andrew Hunt and Steve Spark. All would be well worth the price of admission!

7:54 pm – Ring rust absolutely not a factor for Sam Ah See!

A TKO stoppage with just seconds remaining in the first round.

The southpaw used an incredibly sharp jab to set up straight left hands and body rips, before landing a vicious uppercut that rocked and dropped Amonsot.

A flurry of punches from Ah See after his opponent answered the count was enough for referee Will Soulos, who stopped the fight at the 2:57 minute mark of the round.

7:48 pm – For the first time in six years, the undefeated Sam Ah See (13-0-1) has entered the ring. Standing opposite him is the incredibly experienced Czar Amonsot (35-5-3-1).

7:40 pm – Steve Spark exits the ring where he has been shadow boxing. A raised hand to the crowd, who applaud the 24 year old who is daring to dream.

Natalie Hills v Linn Sandstrom – ANBF Australasian Super Flyweight title, 6 x 2 Minute Rounds

7:38 pm – The result is in and we have… A split draw! The judges see it: 58-56 Hills, 58-56 Sandstrom, 57-57 draw.

An incredible fight that warrants a re-match as Barry Michael suggests on the broadcast. A disappointing result for both ladies, no doubt though.

7:33 pm – Two incredibly tired fighters exchange straight right hands all the way to the final bell. A great fight!

The question will be, what do the judges value more? The overhand right punches of Sandstrom that landed clean, or the volume of combinations thrown by Hills.

7:31 pm – Sandstrom has begun to time her shots as Hills slows down towards the end of the fifth round.

A calculated Sandstrom has jabbed to the body before landing the overhand right over the lowered guard of Hills. An incredibly close fight entering the final round!

7:24 pm – At the halfway point of the fight, Hills has taken over with a number of busy combinations. Sandstrom has tried to establish the jab, but it has been to no avail.

7:17 pm – The first minute of the fight has been defined by the lead hand of Hills who transfers between the jab and uppercut. Sandstrom has landed a number of straight right hands. All action to kick off the pay per view.

7:13 pm – Both fighters enter the ring with combat sports royalty in their corners.

Debutant Hills is mentored by the legendary Muay Thai fighter, John Wayne Parr, while Sandstrom (1-1) is accompanied by Sakio Bika.

Sandstrom will be looking to build on the momentum she picked up in her first professional win in March.

7:09 pm – “Everyone thought I was going to beat Azumah Nelson.”

Jeff Fenech, knowing full well about the dangers of the underdog, warns against thinking that Tszyu will dominate the main event tonight.

7:05 pm – “Home sweet home, that’s what it feels like,” says Tim Tszyu in the pre-fight interview. The young phenom looks as cerebral as ever as he prepares to take on Steve Spark later tonight.

Miles Zalewski v Lee Fook – Super Featherweight, 8 Rounds

In the untelevised preliminary bout, Miles Zalewski moved to 9-1 with a fifth round KO of last minute replacement, Lee Fook.

After originally being scheduled to fight Paul “Showtime” Fleming at Lightweight, Zalewski remained on the card and claimed victory in dominant fashion.

The 2008 Olympian Fleming was forced to withdraw from the bout with a back injury. With Zalewski’s victory, there is every chance for the fight to be re-scheduled.

The Undercard:

To go with the highly anticipated main event, there will be five action packed fights for fans to sink their teeth into.

Returns, re-matches and runs towards a world title are the main storylines from the stacked Tim Tszyu v Steve Spark undercard.

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