By Alexey Sukachev
Atlas Arena, Lodz, Poland - Late replacement Pawel Glazewski (17-1, 4KOs) came close to getting the biggest win of his undefeated career, but fell short with a ten round split decision loss to former four division world champion Roy Jones Jr. (56-8, 40KOs). The scores were 95-94 for Glazewski and 96-93 and 96-94 for Jones.
The 43-year-old Jones had a pre-fight agreement to face WBC champion Krzysztof "Diablo" Włodarczyk in the fall. The 29-year-old boxer Glazewski, who campaigns as a light heavyweight and took the fight with Jones a week ago when original opponent Dawid Kostecki fell out, was alot busier in the fight and made Jones look very old before the Polish crowd. Jones was dropped in the sixth by winging hook and his corner was pressing him to pick up the pace in the second half of the bout.
In this writer's view, and in the opinion of the broadcast crew, Jones' reflexes were horrible and his skills have continued to diminish - and he was soundly beaten by a man, whom he would have brutally knocked out in his prime. The verdict was loudly booed by the local crowd.
WBC #9 light heavyweight Glazewski, by no way a world-beater, was faster than Jones Jr. and landed heavier blows in the first three rounds. Roy's reflexes just weren't in place, he was missing his punches and he ate some well-placed and pretty hard blows in exchanges. Glazewski pressed the action, played the aggressor and was putting his punches together very well.
Jones experienced a short revival in rounds four and five by showing glimpses of his former greatness. He landed several combinations right on the Pole's chin and he dug deep into his body with wicked blows. Glazewski was forced to move backwards, losing points, and didn't look very good. Jones looked like a winner in these rounds but he quickly got tired in the rounds that followed and didn't have enough gas left in the tank to continue his tricks.
A major change shook the crowd in the sixth. Roy started it well but than Glazewski landed a major left hook flush on Jones' chin. Roy went down hard, shook his head, gave a grin and... was never the same again. The end of the round was in Pawel's favor, and so was the rest of the fight. From round seven Jones has concentrated on survival. He was often pinned to the ropes, took punishment and hardly delivered anything of note to his onrushing opponent. In round seven he was hit hard before the bell and came back to his corner on unsteady legs.
In round eight he was pressed hard at the ropes, and this pattern was repeated a round after. Glazewski, a former BBU International champion, was also the aggressor in the tenth and final round, and he can be very proud of his ring actitivities.
BoxingScene has scored this fight 98-91 - for Glazewski, the true victor of this fight.
"I'll come back", said Jones Jr. afterwards in a post-fight quickie. "This kid is a good fighter, and his future is great but I won the first four rounds of the bout easily."
We just hope the extremely delusional Jones Jr. will retire after this but it likely won't be the case. It's better to prepare for a few more sad performances by the once great wizard of boxing.
A win is always a win. Artur Szpilka (12-0, 9 KOs), who is hyped by many experts as the next Polish heavyweight star, didn't impress a bit in the biggest fight against 42-year old American veteran Jameel McCline (41-12-3, 24 KOs) but got what he needed - a unanimous decision over a sound name.
Southpaw Szpilka, who is known to have some kayo power in his gloves, wisely chose to box rather than to rumble with "Big Time" McCline. He moved to his right trying to avoid Jameel's right hand, his money punch. He was successful in the first two rounds as he also peppered McCline with a jab and added haymakers on occasions. McCline barely squeaked past 16-11 Livin Castillo with a split decision in his most recent fight and lost a majority decision to 17-23-2 Harold Scorniers before that. He looked slow and rusty but his experience mattered and that was proved in the third round which was in the veteran's favour. Round four was a tiny payback for the Pole. McCline was briefly down in the fourth but that was ruled a slip by referee Daniel Van de Viele of Belgium.
However, the midst of the bout looked to be a breaking point in the fight. McCline suddenly started to press his opponent in the fifth. His punches started to gather in combinations. Rounds five and six were in his favour, and in round seven he pinned Szpilka to the corner and landed some really meaningful punches. Szpilka looked a bit lost. His defense wasn't tight and his punches were ay too weak to trouble the guest fighter. It took a lot of heart and charater from the Pole to turn back the tides in the eighth. Round nine was his best; McCline being peppered by him all around the ring. Round ten was also a "big time" for the Pole, despite a brief fall caused by a slip.
At the end, the following scorecards were announced: 98-93 (Leszek Jankowiak), 98-94 (Predrag Aleksic of Montenegro) and 97-94 (Miroslaw Brozio). Przemek Saleta and BoxingScene saw it a step closer: 96-94 - for Szpilka, who has still much to learn about the game to succeed on a higher level.
Former undisputed lightweight champion of the world Nate Campbell (36-9-1, 26 KOs), who is still capable of some disappointing surprises for his opponents, kicked off a virtual three-fight match-up between American veterans and untested Poles with a convincing victory over 34-year old former amateur standout Krzysztof Szot (17-2-1, 5 KOs), who had wins over Alex Arthur and two-time Olympic gold medalist Alexey Tischenko in the unpaid ranks.
Campbell chose to be very economical with his punches. He stayed at the ropes, slipped off Szot's best punches (which were very weak indeed) and landed sharp right uppercuts and left hooks all fight long. The Pole was active and determined but not on the same level of the skill with a very capable veteran. He also had some success, when the Galaxxy Warrior chose to be too cautious or economical, but Campbell easily delivered painful payback time and again to keep Szot at bay. The bout was rather boring and nobody was thrilled.
Scores were: 77-75 (Juergen Langos of Germany), 79-74 (Miroslaw Brozio of Poland) and 79-73 (Dave Parris) - for Campbell. BoxingScene agreed with Brozio. Polsat's expert and former heavyweight standout Przemyslaw Saleta scored it 80-72 - for the American, who continues to be a dangerous proposal for everyone around 140lbs. He beat Victor Manuel Cayo via a knockout in his previous fight.
Luca Michael Pasqua of Turin, Piemonte, Italy had a familiar look, wore short white trunks with a blue trim and had "R.I.P Arturo Gatti" inscription there as well but failed to live up to his legendary model's grit and dedication in a fight versus Pole Rafal Jackiewicz. IBF #10 ranked welterweight, who is now 42-10-1, with 21 KOs, earned a wide unanimous decision on all the judges' scorecards while scoring a couple of knockdowns during the process.
Jackiewicz, 35, took the first round off and then started to pressurize his opponent. Pasqua chose to work on the distance but that didn't help him much as he was kicked around for the next couple of rounds. Late in the third stanza Jackiewicz landed a picture-perfect straight right hand that sent the Italian crushing down but he was ablt to survive the count. After losing another round, Pasqua experienced a short revival in rounds five and six, landed several notable blows to the face and to the body of Jackiewicz and took a lead for a second or tow. However, in the seventh Jackiewicz landed yet another right hand somewhere between the back of Pasqua's head and his left ear, and the Italian went down for the second time. The Polish fighter, supported well by local witnesses finished the bout in style, while Pasqua resembled only Gatti's survival skills but not his desire and mastery.
All three judges were unanimous in their opinions: 97-92 (Daniel Van de Viele), 97-91 (Leszek Jankowiak) and 98-90 (Bela Florian) - for Jackiewicz, who scored his second win over an Italian fighter in just a month. BoxingScene had it 99-89 - also for the Pole.
Young Polish welterweight Krzysztof Kopytek (2-0, 1 KO) continued his ring education and notched yet another win over well-rounded trialhorse Alexander Abramenko (17-32-1, 6 KOs) of Belarus in the second televised fight of the night. Abramenko, the shorter of the two, tried to bring some heat to a rookie fighter but the latter used his range and finesse to completely outbox his opponent. All three scores were: 40-36 - for Kopytek, and BoxingScene agrees with this score.
In the first televised fight of the evening, Polish heavyweight prospect Krzysztof Zimnoch (now 12-0-1, 8 KOs) blitzed Bosnian journeyman Adnan Buharalja (25-14-2, 17 KOs) in the midst of the first stanza. Buharalja was soft and unprepared. After a few exchanges Zimnoch landed a nice right hand to the solar plexus of his opponent, which put the Bosnian down. He beat the count but his breath was still unsteady and a grimace of pain twisted his face as the referee waved it off at 1:31 of the first.