A Montana Love Disqualification Means Victory For Steve Spark
Fighting in his home state of Cleveland, Ohio for the second time in four fights, unbeaten junior welterweight contender Montana “Too Pretty” Love (18-1-1, 9KOs), ranked #6 by the IBF and #13 by the WBC, took on hard-hitting underdog Steve “The Viking” Spark (16-2, 14KOs).
Love is being positioned for a world title opportunity in 2023. He looked to continue his momentum towards bigger and better fights. Prior to his bout with Spark, he would turn back the challenge of Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela, winning an uninspired unanimous decision.
On the flip side was Steve Spark – a fighter with good power who hadn’t had much success against upper-echelon opposition. Sporting two losses on his record, the most notable was to top junior middleweight contender Tim Tszyu, who stopped him in three rounds back in 2021. However, none of the aforementioned things deterred The Viking’s confidence and self-belief ahead of this bout.
NO LOVE FROM SPARK!
The bout started with Love looking counter as Spark was determined to press the action. This led to Love being able to land some solid quick shots with his left hand. However, things would quickly get interesting in round two, as a right hook from Spark clipped Love and put him on a wobbly back-leg. Noticing this, the Aussie pounced again, putting his opponent on the ropes. There, he landed another right hand that put the Cleveland native on the canvas.
While this would prove to be a set-back from the success he had in the last round, Love regained his feet and continued to successfully dictate the pace for the duration of the round.
However, Love found himself back in trouble in round five as Spark unleashed a four-punch combination that temporarily shook him up. Not backing down, the hometown favorite would sit down on his punches and land some solid shots of his own. Love seemed to be comfortable countering as his opponent rushed in. Although, the opportunities Spark would get unleashing combinations while pushing Too Pretty against the ropes could have gone against the favorite.
A BIZARRE ENDING
A clash of heads to start round six led to a cut over the left eye of Love. After being looked at by the ringside doctor, Love stated repeatedly that he couldn’t see. It seemed the fight would be stopped at that point, but the doctor claimed he would monitor the status of the cut for another minute.
Not long after that, the two men got tangled, and Spark somehow ended up going over the top rope as if it were a wrestling match. This is where the confusion set in.
After landing on his feet outside the ring, Spark immediately returned inside the ring ready to fight. However, referee David Fields elected to disqualify Love instead! The crowd booed in dismay as Love and his team protested the decision. Nevertheless, the decision was made and Love would suffer his first defeat in his hometown.
Given the controversial ending, there’s a significant chance of a rematch. If it does happen, both Too Pretty and Spark will have a chance to settle things for good!
By: EJ Williams & Jerrell Fletcher