Artur Szpilka was a slight underdog headed into today's big all-Polish heavyweight clash in Krakow, but he was able to rather handily outbox the more experienced Tomasz Adamek, winning an unanimous decision on scores of 98-92, 96-94, and a curious (or incorrectly tallied/read) 94-90. BLH had it 97-93 for Szpilka.
Szpilka (17-1, 12 KO) was coming off of his first career loss in January against Bryant Jennings, which was also his biggest fight to date, as it was televised on HBO. Though this didn't have the American TV or fan interest, it was a big crowd at Krakow Arena and an opportunity for Szpilka to knock off one of the most popular and respected fighters of the recent era.
Adamek (49-4, 29 KO) loses his second straight following a defeat against Vyacheslav Glazkov, and as he's about to turn 38 in a few weeks and has been through the wars at 175, cruiserweight, and heavyweight over his 15-year pro career, it's worth wondering if it might be time for him to hang it up. He's had a hell of a career, provided some great action, and never shied away from a fight or a challenge. But he's now been handily beaten two straight times, and he just doesn't seem to have the same fire he used to have. It's not even that he looks old or unable to pull the trigger so much as he's just never seemed to totally recover from his loss to Vitali Klitschko in 2011. Since then, he's never been the same guy.
Szpilka may have also renewed interest in his career around the world, as this is a big ticket win that could land him in the title mix sometime next year. Maybe it shouldn't, but it's an attention-grabber to beat a big name, even if they're past their best.
Michal Syrowatka KO-1 Michal Chudecki
A stunning knockout, one to seek out (and we'll try to find it soon, too). This is a KO of the Year contender, as Syrowatka (11-0, 3 KO) absolutely flattened Chudecki (10-1-1, 3 KO) at 1:27 of the first round. Chudecki had just landed a good shot when Syrowatka caught him totally unprepared for retaliation, then drilled him with another clean shot on the way down.
Maciej Sulecki KO-7 Grzegorz Proksa
Once a bright middleweight prospect, Proksa (29-4, 21 KO) now looks all but done at age 29, with his second straight loss and third in his last four fights. Sulecki (19-0, 4 KO) beat him up in there, and Proksa's always-troubling defense seemed pretty non-existent in this fight. As unlikely as it would have seemed at the time, it looks like Proksa's peak came in 2011 when he beat Sebastian Sylvester. Sulecki, 25, is now a compelling middleweight on the European level at least.
Andrzej Soldra UD-8 Dawid Kostecki
A bit of an upset here, as Kostecki (39-2, 25 KO) had a huge experience advantage, but this was also his first fight since being released from prison earlier this year. His last fight was in April 2012. Soldra (11-1-1, 5 KO) and Kostecki traded hard shots in a very entertaining, action-filled fight, one that had two-way action and was very competitive. Kostecki was booed when he came in for the fight, but received some cheers after the fight for a valiant effort in the ring and what seemed a very agreeable interview in the ring. (I don't know Polish, so I don't know what he said.) Scores were 77-75, 77-75, and 76-75.