It was quite a night at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, which hosted boxing for the first time in its 22-year existence, as local fighters prevailed in a night of knockouts and plenty of hard-hitting action.
In the main event, Andrzej Fonfara rallied from being largely dominated by veteran and former titlist Gabriel Campillo, scoring a ninth round knockout on a wicked body shot, as Campillo reeled from a serious attack from the Chicago-based Polish battler. Fonfara (24-2, 14 KO) is now in position to fight a final eliminator for a shot at the IBF title, currently held by Bernard Hopkins.
Campillo (22-6-1, 9 KO) boxed well from the outset, but led just 77-75 on two cards, absurdly trailing 75-77 on the third. The scores seemed closer than I saw it, at any rate, and ESPN's Teddy Atlas saw a similar fight, but Campillo's style has never lent itself well to judges' scorecards.
In the night's exciting heavyweight rematch co-feature, Artur Szpilka knocked out Mike Mollo (technically a TKO) in the fifth round of another hard-hitting brawl. The two first went to hell and back against one another in February on Friday Night Fights. This one wasn't much different, right down to the ending.
Szpilka (16-0, 12 KO) started off well in the first round, but was stunningly dropped in round three, and was fairly hurt. Mollo (20-5-1, 12 KO) had his chance, but in a way, let Szpilka off the hook because he just couldn't find another opening to take advantage of, and Szpilka worked his way back into the driver's seat. In the fifth round, Mollo was cracked with a hard left hand, tumbled to the canvas, and though he got to his feet bravely, the fight was waved off. It was another terrific effort from Mollo, but he was again just outgunned by a guy who's a better fighter technically and was in better shape.
In the second TV fight of the night, Adrian Granados (12-2-2, 8 KO) also came off the canvas to score an exciting win. Granados was down in the second and fifth rounds, but brutally finished off Mark Salser (15-1, 9 KO) with a big-time body attack in the sixth round. It was a hell of a brawl.