By Alexy Sukachev
Damian Jonak (35-0-1, with 21 KOs), a 29-year old well-kept Polish light middleweight secret, showed both why he is being dismissed by many European boxing experts, and why he is also considered to one of the best Polish fighters today - all within a single boxing affair with fading Belgian veteran Jackson Osei Bonsu.
Jonak is ranked #3 by the WBA and the WBC, he is also being rated #8 by the WBO and #14 by the IBF, which means the Pole is in position for a title shot within all four major sanctioning bodies. Meanwhile, little is known of the Polish fighter, who boxed just once outside of Europe, and who conducted the rest of his boxing matches either in Poland (mostly) or in Germany (sparsely).
Jonak, with his fans and family watching him in the main event of the show, promoted by Andrzej Wasilewski at Spodek in Katowice, started promptly. He rushed in and landed some heavy bombs against IBF #15 Bonsu in the first. The Belgian, who is 5-0-1 this year albeit against mostly very limited opposition, looked to be a spent bullet and it was proven in the second, when he was floored with the powerful left jab of Jonak.
It looked like the Pole was on the verge of his biggest win in a while, but Jonak failed to follow up. He kept pounding Bonsu for the rest of the fight but he didn't land any significant punches against the veteran fighter. Jonak easily dominated the scorecards thanks to his youth and activity but that was all he did, and it wasn't enough to impress. Bonsu, on the other hand, seemed to be a shot fighter, being slightly wobbled after each clean punch by the Polish slugger. Both combatants showed much grit and desire but Jonak's skills were superior to those of the Belgian and it helped him to pile up the lead on points.
At the end, scorecards were rightfully wide: 98-90, 99-91 and 99-90 - all for Jonak. The Pole needs harder challenges to prove he is worthy of a title shot at one of the reigning beltholders (Saul Alvarez, Austin Trout, Cornelius Bundrage and Zaurbek Baysangurov).
Polish cruiserweight Lukasz Janik (24-1, 14 KOs), clearly not the most talented of the state's pack, which includes the likes of Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Mateusz Masternak and Pawel Kolodziej among others, barely passed a stiff test, presented to him by the continentally-known granite-chin journeyman Ismail Abdoul (46-26-2, 18 KOs). Scores were: 80-73, 77-75 and 77-76 - for the Pole in what really was an even fight. BoxingScene had it 76-76 - a draw.
Abdoul, 36, fought the best of the cruiserweight elite and was stopped only won - by Janik's countryman Krzysztof Wlodarczyk under dubious circumstances. Otherwise the durable Belgian survived the Haye test as well as some other hard boxing exams and never failed his mission of total survival in the ring. Against Janik, who had lost via TKO to Masternak three years ago, Abdoul started slowly - as usual - but then started to counter the Pole well. Janik, ten years younger than his opponent, was unable to seriously hurt the Belgian, while some of Abdoul's punches were felt well by the Pole. Both fighters fought mostly on event terms. Janik's pressure and workrate were superior to those of Abdoul. However, the Belgian's finesse made up for a shortage in punch output.
Undefeated welterweight Patryck Szymanski (5-0, 2 KOs) looked superior to his Hungarian opponent Laszlo Fazekas (12-6-1, 9 KOs) in a tactical six-rounder. Szymanski wisely outboxed his raw foe in almost every round and dropped him hard in the fifth. However, Fazekas was lucky to last till the final bell, relying almost only on his survival skills.
Rising Polish/Nigerian cruiserweight Izuagbe Ugonoh (8-0, 7 KOs) spoiled a perfect record of fellow unbeaten Frenchman Matthieu Monnier (4-1), stopping him in five rounds. Poland-based African Ugonoh wasn't an aggressor in the ring but he was consistent in countering the French warrior and looked to possess much more refined boxing skills in doing so. Monnier was being punished badly in the third and in the fourth rounds and it has prompted him to throw everything he got early into the fifth. Ugonoh has easily taken all of Monnier's best punches with the help of his tight guard and then fired a major right cross, which sent the Frenchman down. Monnier got up at the count of eight but was too wobbly to be allowed to continue the bout.
Super middleweight Michal "Azazel" Starbala (7-0, 1 KO) notched his first ever stoppage win with a dominating annihilation over Czech cannon fodder Vladimir Fecko (3-53-3, 1 KO). Fecko was down twice after right hands of the heavily tattoed Pole. Official time of stoppage was 2:59 of the first round.
Another super featherweight Michal Chudecki (4-0, 2 KOs) was victorious as well. Chudecki, 26, dominated overmatched Hungarian Roland Mohacsi (6-1, 3 KOs) with his relentless pressure en route to a convincing four-round unanimous decision. Scores were 40-36 across the boards. The Hungarian suffered his first career loss.
Former amateur star and multi-time international medalist Lukasz Maszczyk, now competing as a super featherweight, notched his third straight knockout victory, destroying Romanian prospect Oszkar Fiko (3-1, 2 KOs) in the second round. Maszczyk, 27, dropped Fiko with a couple of hard body shots in the first round and got the job done seconds into the second with a hard right hand. The Polish fighter is now 3-0, with 3 KOs.