Controversy is kicking up after the unsuccessful ring return of Polish heavyweight-turned-cruiserweight Artur Szpilka, which took place this past Saturday night in Lomza, Poland, which was first reported by BoxingScene’s Per-Ake Persson.
Szpilka, 30, who was making a return to his native weight class after almost nine years of fighting in the sport’s glamour division was very lucky to escape with a highly unpopular, questionable unanimous decision over upset-minded Ukrainian journeyman SergiyRadchenko (7-6, 2 KOs and has never been stopped), which was labeled a “highway robbery” by a number of pundits and witnesses.
Radchenko, 32, who is much tougher and stronger than his subpar record suggests, is well-known for taking Szpilka’s compatriots Adam Balski and, more importantly, ex-WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki, to the brink of defeat, and scoring knockdowns in both fights before dropping narrow decisions both times.
Szpilka (24-4, 16 KOs) himself was decked twice in rounds three and five and was arguably beaten to the punch, despite squeaking out with widely booed scores of 95-92, 95-93 and 94-93.
“I haven’t imagined this kind of return to the 200-pound division. My left hand wasn’t okay, but I think I won a majority of rounds”, said Szpilka immediately after the fight before eating his lion’s share of blame and even hatred from disillusioned fight fans.
He sounded less convinced afterwards.
“I don’t like what I looked like in my cruiserweight return. The only thing on my mind is revenge. I need to reverse this perception. I just hope I can erase those memories as fast as I can," said Szpilka, who was much more interested in a return bout than even Radchenko himself.
Marek Szkolnikowski, the TV director of the broadcasting channel, was very brief on his feelings. “Shame… That’s what I feel. I want to apologize to the fans for this scandalous decision. I need to re-think thoroughly what has just happened”.
Andrzej Wasilewski, Polish leading boxing tycoon and the promoter of the event (via Knockout Promotions) had not been at hand for the fight but he expressed himself anyway.
“Watching this fight on TV, I had it either 95-92 or 94-93 for Radchenko. 95-92 for Szpilka? I couldn’t believe it…”.
In the meantime, Tymex Boxing Promotions staged a small card in Dzierzoniow with a female championship bout as its co-main event.
Fight veteran Ewa Brodnicka (19-0, 2 KOs) retained her undefeated record in the fifth defense of the WBO super featherweight title with a workmanlike decision over durable Belgian import Djemilla Gontaruk (16-7-2, 2 KOs). Brodnicka was in full control throughout an entire fight and rightfully got a wide unanimous score in her favor: 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.
In another co-main event, lightweight Damian Wrzesinski moved to 19-1-2, 5 KOs, with a convincing methodical decision over Mexican journeyman Sergio Puente, who has lost his sixth straight. Scores were: 100-90, 99-91, and 99-92 – after ten rounds of hardly exciting action.
Wrzesinski retained his Republic of Poland International 135lb title, while Puente is just 1-8 recently, and hasn’t scored a win over a fighter with a winning record for almost six years.
Welterweight Michal Lesniak (12-1-1, 3 KOs) continued his winning streak with a unanimous decision over hard-nosed Spain-based Nicaraguan David Bency (14-15-1, 4 KOs). Scores were: 79-73, 78-74, and 77-75 – for the Pole. Also, German Sahan Aybay (10-0, 8 KOs) knocked out Ukrainian Yaroslav Manuilov (3-4, 2 KOs) at 1:33 of the third.
Oskar Wierzejski (3-0) UD 4 Pawel Cieciora (0-2). Scores: 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37
Oskar Kapczynski (3-0, 2 KOs) TKO 1 Blazej Nowak (1-2). Time: 1:12
Kamil Kuzdzien (1-0) UD 4 Olexander Chaban (2-15-1, 2 KOs). Scores: 40-36, 40-36, and 40-36