Uncasville, Conn. - Mariusz Wach entered Friday evening's bout with Kevin McBride knowing that he needed to make a statement to the heavyweight division if he wanted to make his case as a must-see contender.
With his dominant, one-punch knockout of Kevin McBride in the main event of the "Heat Wave" boxing event at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., Wach did just that.
With one straight right hand to the chin, the 31-year-old Wach of North Bergen, NJ by way of Krakow, Poland dropped McBride to the canvas, calling an immediate halt to the bout. McBride was unconscious before he hit the floor and left the ring on a stretcher.
The time of knockout was 2:25 of the fourth round. The event was promoted by Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment and Sports in association with Global Boxing.
Wach, now 25-0 (13 KO), earned the vacant WBC International heavyweight title with the victory. McBride, who ended the career of heavyweight legend Mike Tyson with a TKO in 2005, drops to 35-10-1 (29 KO).
Working with new trainer Juan De Leon, the 6-foot-8 Wach came in at the lightest weight of his career at 245. McBride of Brockton, Mass., by way of Clones, Ireland entered at the highest weight of his career at 296.
From the opening bell, the superior boxing technique of Wach befuddled the slower McBride as Wach mixed in an assortment of body punches and straight right crosses.
In McBride's prior fight, he lasted the twelve round distance with Wach's compatriot Tomasz Adamek, who will be facing heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in September.
Former WBA welterweight and super welterweight champion Jose Antonio Rivera (41-6-1, 24 KO) of Worcester, Mass., continued to shake off the ring rust after a three year layoff with a one-sided eight-round unanimous decision victory over Paul Mpendo (7-8-4, 3 KO) of Portland, Oregon.
The scores were 80-72 twice and 79-73.
Weighing a career-high 157 pounds, Rivera entered the ring to Puff Daddy and the Bad Boy Family's "I'll Be Missing You." The crowd reaction from the nearly 2,500 on hand signified that the feeling was mutual.
Rivera mixed boxng and brawling to win each round by a comfortable margin over the durable Mpendo, who has never been knocked out.
The 38-year-old Rivera has now won three in a row since a pair of stoppage losses to Travis Simms and Daniel Santos in 2007.
Artur Szpilka (7-0, 5 KO) of North Bergen, NJ by way of Wielczka, Poland needed very little time to figure out the defensive puzzle of Philadelphia's David Williams (6-5-1, 2 KO), scoring a first round knockout at the 1:53 mark.
The southpaw Szpilka, who weighed in at 235 pounds to Williams' 225, scored a knockdown a minute into the fight with a left cross to the top of Williams' head. Williams arose but the stalking Szpilka placed a hard left hand to Williams' side, dropping him and prompting the ref to call an immediate halt to the bout.
Heavyweights, Josh Harris (8-5, 6 KO) of Akron, OH defeated Jose Torres (0-1) of Worcester, MA by 1st round TKO.
Welterweights - Jonathan Vazquez (4-0-1, 3 KO) drew with Agustine Mauras (1-0-1, 1 KO) of Lawrence, MA
Welterweights - Edwin Soto (7-0-1 3 KO) of New Haven, CT defeated Michael Denby (3-11-4, 2 KO) of Felton, DE by third round TKO
Super Middleweights - Greg McCoy (3-3, 1 KO) of New Haven, CT defeated Ralph Johnson (0-2) of Worcester, MA by unanimous decision (38-36 twice, 38-37)
Super middleweights - Keith Kozlin (6-2-1, 4 KO) drew with Reynaldo Rodriguez (5-2-1, 2 KO) of Woonsocket, RI (40-36 Kozlin, 38-38x2)