Report, video, photos by Przemek Garczarczyk
IBO light heavyweight champion Andrzej “Polish Prince” Fonfara (23-2, 13 KO) and heavyweights Artur “The Pin” Szpilka (15-0, 11 KO) and Mike “Merciless” Mollo (20-4, 12 KO) became Chicago White Sox players for one night to promote their August 16 US Cellular Field boxing night. Fonfara took the honors to throw a ceremonial pitch, which had a lot less power than his right hand punch, but perfectly landed in the catcher’s mitt.
All of them are ecstatic to have a chance to be first fighters in more than 50 years to show their skills in Chicago’s baseball stadium. “This is a pinnacle of my career, obviously. The only thing that tops this – and will happen – will be beating Szpilka on August 16,” said Mollo.
“This is my first visit in a baseball stadium, first time I’ve held a baseball. Just the feeling of being here is unbelievable. It will be another great fight because Mike is a warrior. And the same outcome,” promised Polish heavyweight hope Szpilka, who in the first fight after being twice on canvas, knocked out Mollo in the sixth round.
“This is the big fight for me and I’m ready now, being in the best shape of my life,” said Fonfara. “There’s a strong possibility that my fight with Gabriel Campillo will be an official IBF title eliminator. So – not overlooking such as experienced and great fighter like Campillo – the next one could be Bernard Hopkins. You cannot have stakes bigger than that. For both of us.”
The ESPN “Friday Night Fights” three-hour series finale will be telecast LIVE, starting with a replay of the first Szpilka-Mollo brawl.
Starting at $32, tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased through the U.S. Cellular Field Box Office and through 8 Count Productions, (312) 226-5800.