By Charles Brun: Promoter Eddie Hearn denies that his fighter light welterweight Montana Love intentionally shoved his opponent Steve Spark out of the ring on Saturday night, resulting in a sixth round disqualification ruling by referee Dave Fields at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio.
Moments after suffering a cut over his left eye from an accidental head clash in round six, Love (18-1-1, 9 KOs) pushed Spark and looked to have shoved him out of the ring, resulting in the referee Fields disqualifying him.
What made it look intentional on Love’s part is that he was still pushing down on Spark while leaning over the ropes as the Australian fighter was falling.
The Ohio commission will be reviewing, and they’ll take a look at the replay in slow motion to see what the viewer at home saw.
Even if they overturn the referee Field’s ruling and say it was no contest, which would be a big stretch, there’s no ignoring the fact that Montana looked unimpressive throughout and not the type of fighter that you would favor against the top five guys in the 140-lb division.
As bad as Love looked, you can argue that there are at least seven fighters in the weight class that would have beaten him tonight. What we witnessed is that Love was bothered by the power of Spark, who had him on the canvas in the second round, and hurt on a couple of occasions.
Hearn said after the fight, “it was a bad decision,” and plans on appealing it to have Love’s loss overturned. “Montana was rough, but he didn’t intentionally throw him out of the ring, and Steve got back into the ring and wanted to keep fighting.
“Referees have a tough job, but that was a poor decision, and one made too quickly,” continued Hearn.
“It was turning into a great fight; the commission will review it; I would love to do it again.”
Either way, there’s got to be a rematch because Love can’t walk away from this performance without trying to improve on the situation against Spark.
Of course, if you look at Love’s performance tonight with foresight, it would be smarter if Hearn high-tailed it out of there and kept his badly vulnerable fighter protected from Spark because the fight was heading in the wrong direction.
If you had your eyes open, Love was getting hit more and more by the heavy-handed Spark, and it was obvious that he couldn’t handle his power. Spark was too powerful for Love, and he was crumbling.
It would be wise for Hearn to jettison Love and get rid of him like a bad habit because he’s got no future in the 140 lb division unless he’s matched carefully against strictly beatable fighters.