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21 APRIL 2018

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Fonfara defeats Campillo, Szpilka Ko's Molla In Thrilling Rematch

Campillo defeated in Chicago
Campillo defeated in Chicago

By Marc Livitz: Andrzej Fonfara maintained a fighting man’s discipline this evening and worked his way to a ninth round TKO win over Gabriel Campillo in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator in Chicago.


The Sweet Science returned to the Windy City this evening as ESPN’s "Friday Fights" staged the first outdoor boxing event in Chicago in over fifty years. Not since the days of such bouts as Floyd Patterson versus Sonny Liston (1962) and going even further back to the end of "Cinderella Man" Jim Braddock’s miracle run in the mid 1930’s to Joe Louis (1937) had a night at the fights taken place at Comiskey Park. These days, the Chicago White Sox call the U.S. Cellular Field home and Comiskey is left to nostalgia. The ring was set up right over home plate on the baseball diamond and the winner would get a shot at the IBF heavyweight prize.


The opening round was set strictly to a boxer’s standpoint. Fonfara jabbed and Campillo returned the favor. Perhaps strategy was the idea. Otherwise, not much was revealed in the initial three minutes. Gabriel managed to break past the high yet sluggish guard of Andrzej in the second. His right jab picked up the pace. A snapping right caught Fonfara on the chin as the bell sounded. Campillo’s follow up left was connecting in round three and he began to let his hands fly a bit. Fonfara began to answer as the stanza closed. His jab and follow up were tight. Gabriel still held the upper hand.


He held target practice to the head of Fonfara as soon as the fourth was underway. He doubled up the left hook and was able to effectively block the replies from the "Polish Prince". He was wearing and tearing away at his foe. Andrzej had developed at cut under his left eye. The fifth saw Campillo continue his trend. He tagged Fonfara squarely to the head at times and effortlessly deflected any shots back. Between the fifth and sixth, Campillo’s right eye needed attention, yet his corner only had pieces of ice to apply as opposed to the customary cold steel compress.


Gabriel connected with various jabs and leads in the sixth. Andrzej did his best to answer in his efforts to please the many Polish fans in attendance. "El Chico Guapo" Campillo connected with a solid right in the seventh and he was able to back Fonfara up. The meaningful shots continued into the eighth for Gabriel, although his right eye was slowly closing. Still, at times he stood squarely in front of Fonfara and teed off. A quick right seemingly to the ear from his Chicago opponent wobbled him as the bell sounded.


Fonfara looked to go up and down with his shots as he entered the ninth round. Halfway through the period, he worked his way around Campillo’s slumping guard and landed a thudding right to his head. A few more rights and lefts later and down went Campillo. The Spanish fighter fell to his knees and did not attempt to stand again. Referee Geno Rodriguez called the fight to a definitive close. The cards would likely have had Campillo on top. Adrzej Fonfara wins by ninth round TKO and improves to (24(14)-2(1)), while Gabriel Campillo suffered his third loss in four fights to bring his record to (22(9)-6(3)-1).



Co Main Event Report


Szpilka Knocks Out Molla in Thrilling Rematch


 In the evening’s co-main event, relations of the bloody kind were rekindled when heavyweights Artur Szpilka and Mike Mollo sought to give fans a repeat performance of their epic February 2013 outing. That night, multiple knockdowns, head butts and gushing crimson accented their initial meeting with Szplika eventually winning by a sixth round knockout. 


 Tonight at the ballpark, the two combatants circled the other in the opening round. Artur used his right hand as a measuring stick in the southpaw versus traditional matchup. He tied up in the first and second when Mike caught him with short lefts and also had him a bit on the wobbly side when the second round came to a close.


The third was a bit of the same. Szplika measuring with the outstretched right, which led to left after left to the head of Mollo. Mike somehow answered and put Artur to the canvas with a crisp left hook which was planted perfectly on the chin. Szpilka appeared dazed but rose to his feet and afterward, Mollo looked somewhat gassed. He still managed to push, punch or shove his Chicago (by way of Poland) to the canvas to end the round. There was not much to speak of in round four. Mollo appeared tired and Szplka was doing his best to regain his legs.


The fifth seemed to be a turning point. Artur seemed rejuvenated and once again patiently pawed away with the left. Precisely halfway into the period, he connected with a resounding left and down went big Mike. Mollo bravely stood up by the count of nine, yet he was soundly beaten.


 Referee Gerald Scott knew that the valiant slugger from Oak Lawn, Illinois has taken enough and called the fight to a close. Artur Szpilka remains undefeated at (16(12)-0) with a fifth round TKO win, while Mike Mollo falls to (20(12)-5(3)-1).


August 16, 2013

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