Pro Fights in other Divisions
Tszyu-Spark clash in Australia just hours away

It’s been a crazy ride for everyone involved, but It looks like boxing fans in Australia will finally get a chance to see their favorite son throw down in an “All-Australian” battle against a solid, hard punching regional contender who has the skills to test the superstar.

And yet the fact that we are here right now is nothing short of a pugilistic miracle, one that is a testament to promoter Matt Rose’s tenacity and main event fighter Tim Tszyu’s popularity.

As soon as the “delta variant” of Covid-19 made its unwelcome debut last month in the city of Sydney, Australia, local government officials began to impose strict health and safety protocols to try and stop a potential outbreak from emerging. A greater Sydney lockdown was extended to July 16th after cases of Covid rose to 330 in Sydney. And although Newcastle, where the fight will be taking place, is nearly 100 miles from Sydney, the new round of precautions were still a devastating blow for the much-anticipated brawl between Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa.

Still, Tszyu was a popular PPV draw across Australia and despite additional limits on capacity for live events in NSW, and despite Sydney being in lockdown, it looked like Tim Tszyu was going to headline a profitable and successful card.

But there was one more unexpected wrench that was thrown into the mix and nearly derailed the Tszyu-Zerafa fight: Michael Zerafa.

The trash-talking Aussie pulled out of the fight on a week’s notice, citing concerns that he could be required to do a 14-day quarantine after the fight (he would not).

“We are bitterly disappointed to have Michael Zerafa withdraw from this big showdown with Tim Tszyu with only 6 days to go,” promoter Matt Rose said of Zerafa’s move. “It is shocking. His weak excuse of a covid concern during a world pandemic is very unprofessional. He was concerned that he may have to do a 14-day lockdown if we have a breakout of covid. At present, the only restrictions he had was to self isolate for 72 hours upon return to Melbourne until receiving a clear covid test.”

Regardless of how distasteful the idea of a 14-day quarantine would be for a professional prizefighter who just earned the largest payday of his career, covid-19 restrictions have become a way of life for most professional athletes (bubble anyone?) and having to deal with some covid restrictions was hardly unforeseeable for a country that has a so far earned a reputation for aking strong precautions against the spread of coronavirus. However, Michael Zerafa apparently didn’t get the memo that we have been in the middle of a worldwide pandemic since 2019.

But in the middle of Michael Zerafa’s Karen-esque meltdown in the middle of Trader Joe’s emerged Australia’s own Rocky Balboa to save the day.

Young prospect Steve Spark (12-1, 11 KOs) seems to be a fighter with a promising future, especially after his win over Australian contender Jack Brubaker back in April. But the prospect of him fighting Tim Tszyu looked to be years down the line. At least it did until last week.

“At very late notice we have secured a hot high prospect in Stevie Spark 12-1 (11KOs) his knockout ratio will make the fight dangerous,” Rose added. But Tim is ready for anyone. He a superstar on the brink of taking on the world. He wants to desperately fight the winner of Charlo and Castano and we hope to make this happen should all go plan against the dangerous Spark.”

“It’s crazy how it’s all worked out,” Spark said at a recent press conference. “It could turn out to be one of the greatest upsets in boxing history in Australia.”

Although Spark is seen as a surprisingly solid opponent to step in on such short notice under these circumstances, he is still seen as a huge underdog.

“I think he’s a good boxer,” Tim Tszyu said at a recent press conference. “He’s got the skills. But there are levels in boxing and I’m no Brubaker.”

Nonetheless, Spark feels he has more than a puncher’s chance, and he also recognizes that even if he the odds aren’t in his favor, he’s making the most of his opportunity.

“Not many people are giving me a chance,” Spark added. “I understand that, but I’ve got more of a chance than Michael Zerafa because he didn’t even show up.”

The fight is on PPV in Australia and will be available to American fight fans on ESPN+ at 5 AM ET, 2 AM PT.
Tszyu destroys Spark in three

By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing

WBO #1, WBC #3, IBF #3 super welterweight Tim Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs) scored a brutal third round KO over late sub Stevie Spark (12-2, 11 KOs) in a bout for the WBO Global and vacant Commonwealth titles on Wednesday night at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Spark, who stepped in to replace Michael Zerafa on short notice, was game but seriously outgunned. Body shots put Spark down twice in round three to end it. Time was 2:22.

After the fight, Tszyu mentioned potential future opponents. “There’s Liam Smith, [Magomed] Kurbanov and Danny Garcia, they’re the three boys I’m going for,” said Tszyu “If you’re watching boys, I’m coming for you!”

WBO #7 junior lightweight Joe “Jawbreaker” Noynay (19-2-2, 8 KOs) scored a fifth round KO over previously unbeaten Liam Wilson (9-1, 6 KOs) to defend his WBO Asia Pacific title. Noynay dropped Wilson once in round one and twice in round four. The bout was stopped in round five after Noynay floored Wilson again. Time was 2:40.

Junior middleweight Wade Ryan (19-9, 7 KOs) was victorious when Troy O’Meley (11-2, 2 KOs) couldn’t continue after round six. Ryan dropped O’Meley in round five. Ryan also beat O’Meley via split decision last December accounting for both O’Meley’s losses.

Unbeaten welterweight Sam Ah See (14-0-1, 7 KOs) scored a first round TKO over Czar Amonsot (35-6-3, 22 KOs). Seeing his first action in six years, Ah See floored Amongst then quickly got the stop with his follow-up barrage. Time was 2:47.
Diaz defeats Fortuna for WBC interim title

In a clash for the WBC interim lightweight title, Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) moved up to 135lbs and won a twelve round unanimous decision over Javier Fortuna (36-3-1, 25 KOs) on Friday night at at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Diaz was cut by an accidental headbutt in round three. Diaz was deducted a point for hitting behind the head in round four. After that, Diaz took command. Scores were 117-110, 116-111, 115-112.
Main event, Ramirez/Barrera next on DAZN.
Zurdo stops Barrera with body shots in four

By Rocky Morales at ringside

Former super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0, 28 KOs), now campaigning as a light heavyweight, scored a fourth round KO over Sullivan Barrera (22-4, 14 KOs) on Friday night at at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Zurdo dropped Barrera with a body shot in round three. Zurdo body shots put Barrera down two more times in round four to end it. Time was 1:38.
Charlo, Castaño make weight

Charlo Castano Weigh In

Jermell Charlo 153 vs. Brian Castaño 153.25
(WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO super welterweight titles)
The camps getting into it at the weigh-in.

Rolando “Rolly” Romero 135 vs. Anthony Yigit 140.2
(WBA interim lightweight title)
Late sub Yigit 5.2 pounds heavy.

Amilcar Vidal 161.5 vs. Immanuwel Aleem 162

Venue: AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
Promoter: TGB Boxing
TV: Showtime
Hoping that the Charlo fight makes it to SKY.  So far, no joy.  Will keep checkin'.  If I see it, will post a thread for it.

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