A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
A Hot Time In Chicago!
Last Friday night, ESPN returned back to the past with action fights outdoors under the light in Cellular Stadium which is just across the old Comisky Park. One could easily have imagined oneself in a time warp and being transported to the 1950’s where boxing cards could fill a football or baseball stadium. The ESPN Card was one action fight after another and the main event was typical. Gabriel Campillo came out and boxed beautifully for seven and half rounds. He used angles and threw combinations that often shook Andrzej Fonfara up. Fonfara never could seem to get untracked as the older Campillo simply nailed Fonfara with right hand jabs followed by straight lefts. Campillo was on his way to win a unanimous victory against a younger opponent but a right hand shook Campillo in the last minute of the eighth round.
Fonfara began the ninth round with bad intention as he knew that he was behind on the cards and he landed a right hand followed by a upper cut and concluded the series of punches with a punch to Campillo’s solar plexus. Fonfara won a bout that he was losing by knocking out his opponent.
The first bout featured a rematch between Mike Mollo and Artur Szpika. In their first bout, Mollo nearly ended Szpika undefeated streak with two knockdowns and was on his way to an upset. That was before Szpika landed the perfect one-two with a jab followed by a straight left.
Mollo is a raw, tough fighter who disdained jabs and uses his head to block punches. For the first two and half rounds, Szpika was boxing beautifully and had Mollo on the rope or it appeared. A Mollo left sent Szpika down and almost for the count. Mollo continued in the fourth round but in the fifth, a Szpika left ended the night for Mollo with a straight left, just as it did in their first fight. Mollo proved to be a tough fighter but he didn’t match Szpika skills; but then Szpika nearly lost two fights to Mollo and managed to survive.
Adrian Granados found that if he fought Mark Salser in the middle of the ring and boxed, Salser had no answer. However in the bout, Granados would exchange punches and Salser knocked down Granados in the third round and but a series of Granados combinations in the sixth round forced Salser on the rope and the referee stopped the fight.
Granados is a tough fighter and a good boxer but against Salser, he allowed Salser too many opportunities to nearly decapitate him. If Granados had simply boxed, he would have won an easy victory but then, the fight would have been devoid of drama.
Mike Mollo exposed Szpika since Szpika managed to get hit by a fighter, who was tough but lacking in basic boxing tactics. He may be undefeated but what will happen when he moves up the heavyweight ladder?
Fonfara is a solid fighter but he doesn’t do any one thing great and he had trouble throughout the bout with Campillo boxing style before a right hand ended the fight. This was one of those fights high empty or half-filled depending how you view the fighter. The half-fill advocates would say that the young Polish fighter came back to win a fight he was losing big on the scorecard. The half-empty crowd would ask that how does a fighter ten years your senior out boxed you and left yourself in a position to win by knock out?