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THE GARDEN CITY SNIPER: A raw-boned Darling Downs fighter has stepped up this week to take on Aussie boxing champ Tim Tszyu in Newcastle tomorrow night, after a last minute withdrawal from Michael Zerafa
Promoters hardly had to scramble to find a suitable replacement for Zerafa in the fight night that has been dubbed ‘Tszyucastle’ – with Toowoomba boy Stevie Spark putting his hand up immediately to jump in the ring with his hero and the Australian number one.
Zerafa pulled out of the fight, claiming inadequate pandemic biosafety arrangements for him and his team to travel from Melbourne to Newcastle, a coastal NSW town with zero active cases.
However, experts say Spark’s underdog status is legitimate and he’s not just cannon fodder brought in to fill the void.
“Tim’s in a real fight now,” said Jeff Fenech last weke.
“I have absolutely no doubt he is a tougher fight for Tim Tszyu than what Michael Zerafa would have been” said Fenech.
Spark was pouring beers back home in T-Bar when he agreed to the fight the champ – and jumped at the opportunity to build on his 12-1 (11KO) record.
While most Sydneysiders are expecting tomorrow’s night’s showdown to yield similar results to the NSW Blues domination of Maroons in the 2021 Origin series – anyone familiar with Queensland’s Garden City is keeping their pre-match analysis to themselves.
Tszyu remains unbeaten with a 18-fight record, but even the Russian entourage know not to write off a Toowoomba boy.
Just like Johnathan Thurston, Peter Sterling and Tim Horan before him – Spark has entered the public eye as the David to Sydney’s Goliath.
And just like those same World Cup winning Wallabies and NRL premiership champions exported from Toowoomba – Spark finds himself with a lot more people to prove wrong than right.
Speaking to The Betoota Advocate today, former Toowoomba Clydesdale turned Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldog, Steve Price, says only and idiot would dismiss Spark as a competitor in tomorrow night’s fight.
“Just like The Wagners taking down Alan Jones. This is Toowoomba versus the world” said Price.
“And we’ve got runs on the board”