Australian Stevie Spark falls short in split decision defeat to Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela
Former WBC light middleweight champion Sergio Mora predicted that the fight between Stevie Spark and Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela could be the « fight of the night ». The bout certainly delivered, but Australian Spark fell short in the end, going down in a split decision defeat to Gollaz after a 10-round war.
While Spark hit harder than his rival and primarily had the better moments of the pair throughout the fight as a whole, he was knocked down in the sixth round. That knockdown ultimately may have been what cost the Australian in what was an entertaining fight on Sunday’s Canelo Alvarez vs John Ryder undercard.
As expected, it was an active opening to the fight from both men, with Spark in particular taking on the role of the aggressor as he worked to the body and backed up Gollaz to the ropes. Gollaz though responded with the better exchanges of the two in the second round, striking with variety to keep Spark under pressure as he jabbed upstairs and then went back downstairs.
Spark had the early momentum in the third round as the Australian backed up his rival with a big left hook, leaving Gollaz looking a bit unsteady and lethargic with his movement. Spark continued to find success with that left hook throughout the third round, and while Gollaz was doing well to take the damage, the question was how much longer he could last.
The challenge for Gollaz was to maintain his aggression and keep up with the Australian without overextending and leaving himself open to Spark’s power. Gollaz did just that in the latter stages of the fourth round to regain some momentum and back Spark up, but the bell sounded soon after.
In the end, it was a split decision victory for Gollaz. While Spark hit harder and had the better moments of the fight, the knockdown in the sixth round ultimately cost him the victory. The fight was certainly delivering on expectations, with both Spark and Gollaz producing fireworks as the pair went to an eighth round.
Keywords: Stevie Spark, Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela, Canelo Alvarez, John Ryder, split decision, knockdown, Australian, Mexican, fight.
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