Heavyweight Artur Szpilka arrived at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sunday only to be sent back to his native Poland by the Department of Homeland Security because he did not have the proper paperwork to enter the United States, according to promoter Gary Shaw.
Szpilka had arrived in the United States ahead of his next fight, which is supposed to be against Bryant Jennings, Shaw's fighter. Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs), 24, and Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs), 29, of Philadelphia, are scheduled to meet in a scheduled 10-round bout on Jan. 25 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The HBO-televised fight is the co-feature to junior lightweight titleholder Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia's first defense against Juan Carlos Burgos.
"Team Jennings along with myself and (Jennings co-promoter) Antonio Leonard are well aware of the visa problems Szpilka is having at the moment," Shaw said. "We are monitoring the situation very closely with Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules and hope this problem can get resolved very fast.
"This is a great fight between two undefeated ranked heavyweights and it would be disappointing if they are not able to fight. We are working endlessly to get Artur's proper documents approved so they can meet Jan. 25 on HBO."
Margules, Szpilka's promoter, was not available for comment.
"I believe he will get everything needed, and will re-enter the United States in a very short time," Shaw said.
Szpilka has fought six times in the United States, including two his previous four bouts in 2013, both exciting brawls in Chicago against Chicago's Mike Mollo, both of which Szpilka won by knockout.