Photos: Spark leaves the ring during clinch and Montana Love pays heavy price

11/13/2022 - By Matchroom Boxing - Comments

Montana Love fulfils a dream on Saturday night – headlining for the first time in his hometown of Cleveland as he faces Steve Spark for the WBA Intercontinental Super-Lightweight title at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday night (November 12) live worldwide on DAZN.

Weights: Montana Love 140 vs Steve Spark 140
Richardson Hitchins 140 vs Yomar Alamo 138.5
Raymond Ford 126 vs Sakaria Lukas 128
Christian Tapia 129.5 vs Thomas Mattice 129.5
Raynell Williams 130.5 vs. Ryizeemmion Ford 131

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Love (18-0-1 9 KOs) tops the bill in the sports mad Ohio city and on his second appearance at the home of NBA giants, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Love meets Australian Spark (15-2 14 KOs) in a pivotal clash in the 140lb division, with ranking positions and World title shots at the front of the hometown man’s mind.

“The city is showing me love and getting behind me,” said Love. “It’s a proud city and we look after each other and back. It’s a dream come true, being able to headline in the biggest arena in my home. Cleveland means everything to me. We don’t have much, but we stick together and get the job done.

“The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is an electric place, we’ve had a lot of great athletes come through the city in that building, and now I am one of them. I am living my dream, I went through the trials and tribulations to get here, and what I had to deal with is a big part of what makes me hungry now.

“I promised my mother that I would take this 100 per cent seriously. The last thing she remembers of me is going to prison and being in and out of jail, so now I am trying to right my wrongs.

“I feel like I am made for this moment. I am coming off being co-main on a Canelo card; fighting in front of a packed house in Las Vegas and I’ve fought at home in front of a big crowd before, so there’s no pressure, I’m going to embrace it.

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“Steve is a tough guy; he’ll bring the fight and it’ll make for a real spectacle. I want to win this in spectacular fashion, go for the KO – but we just want to look beautiful and put on a great show.”

Love and Spark clash on a stacked card in Cleveland, with the co-main bout featuring a Matchroom debut for Richardson Hitchins also at Super-Lightweight, where the Brooklyn talent faces Yomar Alamo for the IBF North American title.

Raymond Ford continues to catch the eye in his rise in the Featherweight division and defends his WBA Continental Americas title against Sakaria Lukas and Christian Tapia takes on Cleveland’s Thomas Mattice for the WBA Continental Americas Super-Featherweight title.

Love’s older brother and Olympian Raynell Williams continues his return to boxing against fellow Ohioan Ryizeemmion Ford, Khalil Coe faces unbeaten Bradley Olmeda, Nikoloz Sekhniashvili meets Ohio’s David Rodriguez and Brazilian Olympic silver medalist and former amateur World champion Beatriz Ferreira steps through the ropes for the first time in the paid ranks against fellow Brazilian Taynna Cardoso.

Montana Love

On Steve Spark: “He’s getting too comfortable. I’ve been playing it cool because you are from out of town and you’ve been humble, but I will step on you, in or out of the ring. You are tripping, being disrespectful – just keep it on boxing, keep it cool.

“I am not worried about Richardson. On Stevie, I take my hat off to him, he’s a great fighter, pressure fighter, but it’s nothing I’ve never seen before. In this same arena, we had the Russian [Ivan Baranchyk] who said the same words as Stevie – and he got laid out and hasn’t fought since. He has a great style, but you haven’t fought anyone brother. It’s going to be a tremendous fight; we’re going to run Stevie into some traps and we’re going to put his ass to sleep. I know he is coming to fight but he’s getting taken out.

“He has never faced anyone like me, he’s had a good camp, he’s had some great sparring, but it’s not going to be enough.”

On Richardson Hitchins: “I’ve never seen a fighter getting dropped [by a promoter] while being undefeated. He had an opportunity to fight me in 2019 when I was independent and he was with the Money Team. They turned me down. Now I’m sitting next to the big dog [Eddie Hearn] this is the real money team, and now he’s chasing the bag, as he should.”

Steve Sparks

“I haven’t come halfway across the world to not beat Montana Love. And not just beat him, I’m going to knock this man out. He’s chinny and he’s got a glass jaw.

“I’ve asked for this kind of opportunity because I believe I’m ready for a World title next year. So, I must go out there and beat people like Montana and not just beat him but do it in good fashion, so I must have my wits about me, I know the level of fight this is. I’m excited to be on DAZN and I’m going to shine, he knows this is a hard fight for him, and he’s a hard fight for me. This is the fight of the night; it’s going to be great. I don’t see this fight going the distance.

“It’s do or die in this fight. All or nothing. I’m not going home without that belt. I’m taking it back to Australia.”

Richardson Hitchins

“When you are facing somebody like me you got to come ready. A great fighter like me you should never ever slack not one bit, and I’m looking to take care of business Saturday night. And after that if Montana Love even gets his job done me and him is next. And if he tries to hide from me and him fighting next, we got to see each other in 2023, that’s my goal.

“I came to Ohio cause I’m the truth. I feel like I’m the best fighter on this card and I’m the best fighter in the 140lb division, so it starts like I said on Saturday night. I’m going to show up and show out in his city and hopefully Montana can match that energy.”

Yomar Alamo

“I’ve been prepared like I prepare for all my fights, and we’ve made all the necessary changes to look better and stronger in this fight.”

Raymond Ford

“We’re coming here to dominate. Whether it comes down to a 10 round decision or I stop him early, it really don’t matter. But I’m coming out victorious.

“He [Lukas] got the experience and everything, he’s been around a long time 38 years old. I’m just going to get him out of boxing and send him on his way out.”

Sakaria Lukas

“Saturday night I’m ready to go. You eat or get eaten. Talk is cheap and we can talk the whole night or the whole day but it’s going to change once you get smacked in the face.”

Christian Tapia

“We’re more than prepared to walk away with the victory.”

Thomas Mattice

“We ready. We train extremely hard, had a full camp. I don’t really have much talking to do, I’m ready to handle business. My mind is to hurt something and that’s it.”

Khalil Coe

“This is what boxing is about, taking the tough fights and giving the people a show and giving your best. So that what we want to do and what we’re going to do.”

Beatrice Ferreira 

“I prepared a long time for this moment this big opportunity and there’s nothing better than to be here in the best place in the world for boxing to make my debut and I want people to be happy with my performance.”

David Rodriguez 
“I’ve been around World champions, been in the ring with World champions, got nothing but knowledge and skills, technique, and fundamentals. I got everything to show everyone.”

Love and Spark clash on a stacked card in Cleveland, with the co-main bout featuring a Matchroom debut for Richardson Hitchins also at Super-Lightweight, where the Brooklyn talent faces Yomar Alamo for the IBF North American title.

Raymond Ford continues to catch the eye in his rise in the Featherweight division and defends his WBA Continental Americas title against Sakaria Lukas and Christian Tapia takes on Cleveland’s Thomas Mattice for the WBA Continental Americas Super-Featherweight title.

Love’s older brother and Olympian Raynell Williams continues his return to boxing against fellow Ohioan Ryizeemmion FordKhalil Coe faces unbeaten Bradley Olmeda, Nikoloz Sekhniashvili meets Ohio’s David Rodriguez and Brazilian Olympic silver medalist and former amateur World champion Beatriz Ferreira steps through the ropes for the first time in the paid ranks against fellow Brazilian Taynna Cardoso.

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