by Thomas Gerbasi
NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New York -Adam Kownacki won the Battle of Poland in the FOX opener, stopping former world title challenger Artur Szpilka in the fourth round to keep his unbeaten record intact while clearly making the move from prospect to contender.
Kownacki was able to cut the ring off on Szpilka well in the opening round, and while the veteran got in his share of quick shots, it was Kowancki who did the best work while pinning his foe to the ropes.
"I always knew that I had him,” Kownacki said. “From the first shot I hit him in the body, I knew he didn't have enough. My pressure was too much.”
Szpilka's faster hands served him well in the second, and he began to potshot Kownacki as he spun off the ropes and out of trouble. The pattern continued for much of the third, but late in the round, Kownacki began tagging Szpilka with right hands that appeared to stun him momentarily.
In the fourth, Kownacki pressed his advantage and immediately put Szpilka in trouble and then on the canvas. Szpilka rose to his feet, but the follow-up barrage from the Brooklynite ended matters, with referee Arthur Mercante Jr. stepping in at the 1:37 mark.
With the win, Kownacki moves to 16-0 with 13 KOs; Szpilka falls to 20-3 with 15 KOs.
"It took Deontay Wilder and Bryant Jennings a lot longer to get him out of there,” Kownacki said. “But I still have things that I'm going to go back and fix. Once I improve those aspects of my game I think that a lot of people are going to know me.”
In his third fight since an upset first-round loss to Carlos Hernandez in 2015, Freeport's Patrick Day delivered perhaps the most impressive effort of his career, dropping previously unbeaten Eric Walker en route to a decision win that earned him the WBC Continental Americas junior middleweight title.
Scores were 96-93 twice and 95-94 in a thrilling 10-rounder that saw neither fighter give an inch throughout. But a fourth-round knockdown by Day gave the Long Islander the breathing room he needed to surge ahead in the bout. That breathing room didn't last for long, as Baton Rouge's Walker (15-1, 8 KOs) roared back in an attempt to keep his perfect record intact. And while he fought well down the stretch, the flush counters of the poker-faced Day (14-2-1, 6 KOs) kept the local favorite ahead for good.
Mexico's Fidel Monterrosa upset the Long Island fans in the junior middleweight opener, spoiling the homecoming of local favorite Tommy Rainone via unanimous decision.
Scores for Monterrosa in an ugly, foul and clinch-filled six rounder were 58-54 twice and 57-55. Both fighters lost a point from referee Ron Lipton for fouls in the final round.
With the win, Monterrosa moves to 38-13-1 with 30 KOs; Rainone falls to 26-8-1 with six KOs.