Tim Tszyu defends his WBO Global light-middleweight belt against Stevie Spark on July 7 at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
It was meant to be Tszyu vs Zerafa, but he pulled out due to Covid issues. Whatever the actual season, Stevie Spark was more than happy to take his place and he could pose a bigger threat.
We look at which fighter will come out ahead and where punters can find the best value with bookmakers.
Tszyu vs. Spark Predictions
Tim Tszyu vs Stevie Smith Fight Preview
When Michael Zerafa mentioned Tim Tszyu’s father Kostya, the fight dynamic changed. You could see an anger in Tim Tszyu’s eyes, which we believe led to Zerafa pulling out.
Punters now get to see the Australian champion face Stevie Spark, who isn’t a household name, but with a record of 12-1, he should be respected.
The 24-year-old suffered a loss in 2015 when fighting a debutante, but he was only new to the boxing scene and his stock has risen since. His win over Jack Brubaker was a good result, and although Brubaker is a joker at times, he is tough to put away.
Smith looked professional in his unanimous decision victory. The judges scored the fight 80-72, 77-74, 77-74 in favour of Smith, who picked his spots after getting attacked early.
However, it pales in comparison to the 18-0 record of champion Tim Tszyu, who has scored four consecutive TKO victories. The first came against Jack Brubaker in the fourth round, which is a good form guide.
He then knocked out former world champion Jeff Horn in the eighth round, which was his only four-star fight to date. Subsequent wins over Bowyn Morgan and Dennis Hogan followed, and he’s still on track for super stardom.
We would love to see him fight a highly-touted American, as the opposition in Australia doesn’t cut it. However, for the meantime, he’s padding his record and collecting the easy money.
Tszyu vs Smith Pick
We don’t think Stevie Smith has any chance of winning this fight. We respect his ability against lower-level opponents, but Tszyu is on another level.
He’s faster, stronger and seemingly destined to be one of the best boxers Australia has produced. It’s a reason why bookmakers have the favorite at $1.05, which is short, but it’s warranted.
Punters don’t get value at those odds and he’s paying $1.25 to win by KO/TKO, which is a little better in the value department. However, round betting is where punters can make serious coin.
We will give Smith some credit and predict that he lasts three rounds, but that could be all she wrote. We expect Tszyu to land the knockout blow in Round 4 or Round 5. Sportsbet offers $6 and $7.50 respectively, so backing both is a sound strategy.
The current market favourite is Round 2 and Round 3. Smith will do well to last that long, but he could use evade tactics just to get some ring time. Eventually, Tszyu will go for the knockout blow to put a statement on the win.
For a saver bet, take Tszyu Round 7. It pays $10, which is a fair price. He could wear Smith down throughout the fight by working the body before targeting the head in the later rounds.
Pick: Tim Tszyu KO/TKO in Round 5 @ $7.50 – Bet @ Sportsbet
There are two main fights on the undercard, including Wade Ryan vs Troy O’Meley and Liam Wilson vs Joe Noynay.
We expect Liam Wilson to make short work of Joe Noynay, who should be outclassed. Bookies have Wilson at $1.14, so he could be added to your boxing multi bet with Tszyu by KO at $1.25.
A much closer fight is expected between Ryan and O’Meley. Ryan is the current $1.60 favourite following consecutive wins. He has already beaten O’Meley when scoring a split decision victory in 2020, but it was a close fight.
It was the only loss O’Meley has suffered in his 12-fight career. He hasn’t fought since and his lack of knockout power is a huge concern. The 28-year-old has scored only two KOs from 12 fights, which is awful given he has fought opponents with 1-37-1 and 2-15-1 records.
Take Ryan to score a comfortable victory.
Pick: Tszyu/Wilson/Ryan multi @ $2.28 – Bet @ Sportsbet
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NRL, AFL, NBA, Rugby, NFL, and US college sports. Daryl’s tips have been featured on various websites around the world before joining the GoBet team. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.