Australian boxers are again world news and Toowoomba fighter Steve Spark aims to join them in the headlines when he returns to his hometown ring this week.
While Tim Tszyu and George Kambosos are the latest Aussies to attract the world spotlight Down Under, a hungry Spark is eager to remind everyone of his own star power against Thai gun Apinun Khongsong in Toowoomba on Saturday night.
Spark and Khongsong face off for the Australasia Super Lightweight championship at Rumours International on the TGW & Smithy Bring The Big Fights 30 card.
Awaiting the winner will be a place in the top-15 world rankings and a priceless step towards a possible world title bout.
Spark boasts a 14-win and two-loss record while Khongsong will defend an impressive 18-1 record with his only loss delivered in a world title showdown with Josh Taylor.
Spark is coming off back-to-back wins following his brave loss last July to boom world title contender Tim Tszyu in a bout he accepted on short notice with limited preparation.
Twenty-five-year-old Spark said Khongsong provides him with the perfect opportunity to surge into world contention in what shapes as his final hometown fight.
“Khongsong’s only loss is when he fought Josh Taylor for the IBF and WBA world title,” Spark said.
“Taylor is the current world champion who has unified all the belts.
“Khongsong has worked his way up to that level and that is why this is such a mouth-watering fight for us.
“It has the potential to be the greatest fight Toowoomba has ever hosted
“We have 28 knockouts between us.
“That tells me we will both be going for an early finish.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see an early knockdown, drama, adversity and one hell of a finish, hopefully from my side.
“This fight has it all and a top-15 world ranking for the winner.”
Spark’s fight preparation includes a two-week training camp in Thailand alongside trainer-manager Brendon Smith where they followed in the footsteps of Smith’s former world champion and one of Spark’s idols, Michael Katsidis.
“We’ve had a long preparation on the back of my win over Riva Daz in March,” Spark said.
“Our two-week camp in Thailand was ideal.
“I remember as a young bloke seeing videos of Michael training in Thailand and thinking I am going to do that one day and what an awesome experience it was to live that dream in the same gyms and same streets as Mick trained in.
“I have a world title to chase and I can’t thank Brendon enough for giving me this opportunity in Toowoomba in what will probably be my last fight here.
“I’m ranked number one for my weight in Australia and I want to be a pay-per-view star in this country.
“You are only as good as your next fight but I know I’m destined to win a world title.
“I can’t thank Toowoomba enough for backing me in my journey