Fenech: Late-sub Spark is a real threat to Tszyu

Australian fight legend Jeff Fenech believes that late-sub Steve Spark presents a legitimate threat to current Aussie star Tim Tszyu in their hastily-arranged clash at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on July 7.

Aptly-named puncher Spark (12-1, 11 KOs) was drafted in on a week’s notice after Tszyu’s bitter rival Michael Zerafa withdrew from their eagerly-awaited grudge match yesterday, citing concerns over Covid-19 restrictions between his native Victoria and New South Wales where the fight was due to take place.

Son of the great super-lightweight champ Kostya, 154-pounder Tsyzu (18-0, 14 KOs) is currently rated WBO No.1, IBF No.3 and WBC No.4, and viewed as Australia’s biggest hope for years.

But three-weight champion Fenech believes Queensland’s Spark is potentially a more dangerous option than previous foe Zerafa.

“This is a fight Tim has to be wary of,” Fenech told Sporting News. “You’ve gotta be so careful with these guys who believe in themselves, can punch and will step in and take on anyone. It’ll be tougher than what Zerafa would’ve been.

“If [Spark has] been training, it’ll be a much tougher fight. This is a fight Tim’s really gotta be careful of. Don’t think it’s just a fill-in, he’s gotta think twice as hard for it. It’s a whole different thing a week before a fight.

“He’s gotta watch Stevie Spark and give him respect. He can punch and he’s not scared to fight anyone. They’re the ones you’ve gotta be scared of. He’s gonna go in saying, ‘I’m either gonna [score a] knock out or I’m getting knocked out’.”