Dan Rafael: Artur Szpillka
June, 7, 2013
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
David Banks/Getty ImagesU.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, will host the season finale of "Friday Night Fights."A few notes from the world of boxing:
• The Aug. 16 season finale of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" is shaping up to be an excellent card, which will take place at U.S. Cellular Field, the home stadium of the Chicago White Sox. Two popular Polish fighters are on the card in good looking fights. Light heavyweight Andrzej Fonfara (23-2, 13 KOs) takes on former world titleholder Gabriel Campillo (21-5-1, 8 KOs) in the main event while heavyweight Artur Szpillka (14-0, 11 KOs) faces Chicago's Mike Mollo (20-4-1, 12 KOs) in a rematch of their pier-six brawl in February on the undercard. Szpillka won by sixth-round knockout after being down twice. It was a sensational fight that was on an ESPN2 card, but only aired on ESPN3.com after the telecast went off the air. ESPN2 plans to re-air the first fight during the Aug. 16 show and it is not to be missed.
• The search goes on for an opponent to face featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. (22-0, 13 KOs) on the July 13 Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat undercard (Showtime) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Golden Boy had hoped to convince former featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez to accept the fight but, according to matchmaker Eric Gomez, it's a no-go.
• Promoter Gary Shaw has moved his Aug. 17 HBO tripleheader, which is topped by middleweight titlist Daniel Geale in a defense against Darren Barker, from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. to the Revel resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The other two televised bouts are not set yet, but one of them likely will involve junior featherweight titlist Jonathan Romero.
• Super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz (44-3, 25 KOs) has signed a multi-fight contract with German network SAT.1 and will fight his first bout under the deal on July 13 in Dresden, Germany, although he does not yet have an opponent for the defense. After Stieglitz stopped Arthur Abraham in the fourth round to regain his title in their March 23 rematch, both fighters professed interest in a rubber match. But forget about that now that Stieglitz is signed to SAT.1 and Abraham promoter Sauerland Event has its events exclusively on ARD, in what amounts to the German version of HBO versus Showtime in America.
• Beginning with Saturday's card from the Bell Centre in Montreal, HBO blow-by-blow announcer Jim Lampley resumes those duties on the "Boxing After Dark" series. Lampley, who already calls the fights for HBO PPV fights and the "World Championship Boxing" series, replaces Bob Papa, who had called the fights on BAD since 2007. Before that, Lampley had called the fights on the series since its inception in 1996. According to HBO, Papa is leaving the role because of his expanded duties at the Golf Channel. "The emergence of date conflicts made the juggling of schedules impractical," HBO said in a statement. "Bob will remain connected to the HBO family so we can call on him in situations such as a split-site doubleheader when two broadcast teams are needed."