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Tim Tszyu decks Steve Spark twice, scores third-round stoppage

Tim Tszyu (left) vs. Stevie Spark. Photo by Darren Burns

It was a late replacement and an early night.

The unheralded Steve Spark succumbed to the ruthless power of unbeaten junior middleweight Tim Tszyu in the third-round of a scheduled 10 at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre in New South Wales, Australia on Wednesday.

Tszyu, who is rated No. 7 by The Ring at 154 pounds, scored two knockdowns in Round 3, both of which came courtesy of perfectly placed left hooks to the body. When Spark went down for the second time, referee Brad Vocale waved the bout off without administering a count. The official time was 2:22.

Spark landed a handful of clean blows in an untidy opening round, but Tszyu soon settled and was punishing his man heavily midway through the second. The uppercut was a particularly damaging shot and Spark looked desperate way before the finish.

The 26-year-old Tszyu was originally scheduled to face red-hot rival Michael Zerafa, but that matchup fell through last week when the latter expressed concerns about Covid restrictions. Spark, who was in training for a July 24 date, dutifully stepped in to save the day, but, as expected, he was way out of his depth.

Tszyu (19-0, 15 knockouts) is currently the WBO’s No. 1 challenger. That organization’s titleholder, Brian Castano, is scheduled to face Ring Magazine, IBF, WBA and WBC counterpart Jermell Charlo in an undisputed championship bout on July 17 in San Antonio. The likely scenario is for Tszyu to face an international opponent in his next outing before targeting the winner.

Spark, 24, falls to 12-2 (11 KOs).


Tom Gray is Managing Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing