In a virtual rerun of their first
encounter, undefeated Artur “The Pin” Szpilka survived a brutal knockdown to
stop tough Mike “Merciless” Mollo in five rounds at a rocking U.S. Cellular
Field in Chicago, ILL. The bout was telecast live on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.
Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs) needed an
additional round to knockout Mollo (20-5-12 Kos) at the nearby UIC Pavilion
last February. That fight was filled with controversial referring by Celestino
Ruiz and questionable decision making.
the Illinois Athletic Commission named Ruiz the referee for the rematch. Mollo
resisted the decision until Gerald Scott was named as the third man in the
What the Illinois Athletic Commission was
thinking is anybody’s guess.
They seem determined to embarrass themselves.
After a quiet opening stanza, Mollo, 33,
tried to establish his jab in round two. He also went to the body effectively.
Szpilka, 24, a southpaw, countered with hooks. A sweeping left at the end of
the round staggered Mollo.
Szpilka seemed eager to end the sequel
in round three. A series of combinations had Mollo on queer street, but the
Chicago native dug deep and found the reserve he showed in the first fight. He unleashed
a short left hook that clipped Szpilka on the chin. The popular Polish fighter crumbled
to the canvas. Mollo stalked after Szpilka the rest of the round but couldn’t
land anything of significance.
The pace slowed in round four. Szpilka
went back to boxing. His lazy jab stabbed Mollo. An uppercut knocked the
brawler back a step. Mollo connected with a shot to the body and left to the head.
With four rounds in the books the fight was even. Szpilka wanted to box, but
couldn’t help himself.
He’s a fighter.
Mollo’s right eye was bleeding as round
five got underway. He continued to work the midsection, but some of his punches
lacked steam. He was in search of a second wind that he’d never get a chance to
utilize. Szpilka worked behind his jab. Most of his punches were landing. A sweeping left sent Mollo crashing to the
canvas. Unlike the first fight, Mollo somehow willed himself to stand, but
referee Scott correctly waved the fight off.
The time was 1:41 of round five.
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: firstname.lastname@example.org