Australian boxer Stevie Spark was unable to secure the WBA Intercontinental super lightweight title on May 6th, 2023, after coming out on the wrong end of a decision.
Spark had been fighting on the biggest stage of his career, that being on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs John Ryder on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Mexico.
Standing in his way was the country’s very own Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela. Spark managed to bounce back after a tough start against the Mexican.
Valenzuela sought to overpower Spark, as he managed to get a knockdown in the sixth with a body shot. However, the Australian regained control and fought bravely.
He landed a significantly higher number of power punches compared to his opponent, with a total of 176 compared to his 86.
Although Spark had some impressive moments, the judges ultimately gave the split-decision victory to Valenzuela: 96-93, 94-95 95-94️.
Judges Erika Contreras (96-93 Valenzuela) and Ruben Cruz (95-94 Valenzuela) are both locals from Jalisco, Mexico. Jeremy Hayes (95-94 Spark) is from Canada #GollazSpark #ValenzuelaSpark #CaneloRyder pic.twitter.com/GlUxAxOUf0
— Ben Damon (@ben_damon) May 7, 2023
It is not surprising, then, that Spark had a few choice words to say about the decision.
“The thing we’re investigating at the moment is, we were meant to have the same judges that the Canelo-Ryder fight had, which was two USA judges and one Canadian judge.
“We didn’t know until after the fight that the two USA judges were swapped for two local Guadalajara Mexican judges and they were the ones that gave it to Valenzuela and the one judge that gave it to me was from Canada.
“We’re going to be investigating,” Spark via Sporting News.
The decision also did not go down well with pundits and fans alike, as they made their voices heard.
Social Media Reaction
Yeah, I don't agree with that.
Thought Spark did more than enough there. Really struggle to see how you can find six rounds for Valenzuela.
Great fight, but feel like Spark has a right to feel a bit hard done by there.
— Rob Tebbutt (@RobTebbutt) May 7, 2023
Spark clearly won , this wasn’t even close even though spark was knocked down. They pandered to Guadalajara crowd
— Robbie (@Robbiedehya) May 7, 2023
— remco (@recocsgo) May 7, 2023
Steve spark won that I'm sick of that bs in boxing
— rossyardley (@rossyardley95) May 7, 2023