By Vince D’Wrier: The November 12 main event on DAZN was supposed to be a hometown celebration for Cleveland native Montana Love, but unfortunately in the sixth round he shoved his opponent Steve Spark over the top rope, and as a result, the referee disqualified Love on Saturday night at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.
Coming into the fight, Montana Love was an undefeated super lightweight contender who in a perfect world would have beaten his opponent, and as a result of his win, it would have set up a potential matchup between Love and the co-feature bout winner Richardson Hitchins. Unfortunately for Love, his opponent Steve Spark didn’t get the memo because Spark came to Cleveland to win.
In the opening round both boxers were a bit tentative as they started the fight by using feints, using the jab, and trying to establish the distance. At the midway point of the first round, the speed difference became apparent as Montana Love landed a couple of flush power shots.
The Australian, Steve Spark came out in the second round trying to set the tone by applying pressure, but Love was able to land more clean counter shots. Spark continued to press forward, and then he landed a big right hand that sent Love down to the canvas.
Montana Love survived the second, and he started unleashing his offense in the third round by keeping the fight in the center of the ring. In the fourth round Love continued to effectively counter Spark, but near the end of the round, Steve Spark experienced success when he landed hard shots to the body of Montana Love.
The action picked up in the fifth round when Spark used his physicality to pin Love against the ropes. Spark fired shots to Love’s body, and then he came back up top and caught Love with a big right hand to the head. Love connected with a few counter shots, but Spark was able to finish the round by pressing forward and landing the right hand.
Nine seconds into the sixth round both fighters lunged at the same time, and they had a clash of heads that opened up a cut over Love’s left eye. When Love went to the neutral corner to visit with the doctor, he admitted he couldn’t see, but he could still rumble. The doctor told Love he was going to watch him for a minute, and then the fight continued.
When the fight resumed, Spark and Love aggressively charged at each other, and while they were in the center of the ring, Spark threw a left hand shot. Love ducked under the left and proceeded to lower his shoulder and force Spark on to the ropes. While involved in a clench against the ropes, Love used his left arm to push Spark over the top rope.
Fortunately Spark landed on his feet and he was able to get back inside the ring, but the referee decided to end the match as a result of a disqualification. At that moment the hometown celebration came to an abrupt end, as Montana Love collected the first loss of his career, and Steve Spark (16-2, 14 KOs) was awarded the WBA intercontinental super lightweight championship belt.
Currently Montana Love (18-1-1, 9 KOs) is credited with his first professional loss, but his promoter Eddie Hearn is planning to appeal the decision on Monday. If the decision is successfully overturned then the bout between Love and Spark will be declared a no-contest.