Last November, Australian boxing star Stevie Spark walked to the ring to face Montana Love in the latter’s hometown of Cleveland.
Spark was the ultimate underdog heading into the lion’s den against an opponent most pundits felt would win with relative ease.
Watch Canelo v Ryder LIVE on Main Event available on Kayo & Foxtel, Sunday May 7 from 9am AEST. ORDER NOW >
Instead, the Queenslander dropped Love in the second round and caused the American’s brain to explode as he tossed Spark out of the ring and was subsequently disqualified.
It sparked joyous scenes among Spark and his team, but even more so back home for those who bet on the Aussie as the rank outsider and won big time.
How much, exactly?
“One of my good mates, he actually won about $26.5k on me,” Spark told The Main Event Boxing Podcast.
“I think he owes me a few beers! People won $15k, $10k, there were heaps of big wins from some of my sponsors that got good bets on so that’s what you like to see.
“But at the end of the day, it’s just a bit of fun isn’t it, all the betting odds and that.
“Let’s hope they stuff it up again.”
If Spark thought the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland was enemy territory then boy, is he in for an awakening.
‘Bull***t walks’: Zerafa steps aside from ANOTHER title fight in boxing bombshell
Major underdog plots all-time boilover as Canelo gears up for ‘special’ homecoming bout
‘Nothing to hide’: Aussie boxer speaks, questions police after airport arrest
The Toowoomba native (16-2, 14 KO) will face Mexican star Gabriel Valenzuela (26-3-1, 16 KO) for the WBA intercontinental super lightweight title at the Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, Mexico, on the undercard of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s undisputed super middleweight title fight against John Ryder on Sunday.
The venue seats 46,355 but the capacity for Sunday’s event is expected to reach 50,000 with floor seats included in what promises to be a raucous atmosphere for Alvarez’s homecoming.
With tens of thousands of fans begging to see him get knocked out, it’s an incredibly daunting prospect for Spark to face.
But he is not worried one bit and believes once he’s knocked Valenzuela out, he’ll “leave this stadium with 50,000 new fans.”
“At the end of the day, as loud as the people are on the outside, when me and Gabriel Valenzuela are in the ring it’s just me and him and the referee,” Spark said.
“The people on the outside doesn’t really matter to me.
“Also when you look at the other side, I’m the type of fighter when everything’s stacked against me and when my back’s against the wall is when I fight better.
“Look at me when I went to Cleveland and took on Montana Love. I rose to the occasion. And I believe I’m going to rise to the occasion again.
“As much as the Mexican people might not like me on the day and they’re going to hate me for knocking out their boy, because that’s what I’m here to do, I’m going to knock out Gabriel Valenzuela.
“But one thing they can count on is they’re going to have a new fighter to support. I’m going to leave this stadium with 50,000 new fans, I can guarantee them that, because they’re going to love my style.