Headlining this memorable night, telecast on ESPN Friday Night Fights, will be the highly anticipated return of Chicago’s Polish Prince, IBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Andrzej Fonfara, battling former world champion Gabriel "EL Chico Guapo" Campillo of Madrid, Spain in a scheduled 12 rounder.
Also featured will be the "Can’t Miss" heavyweight rematch of Artur ’The Pin" Szpilka of Wieliczka, Poland and Chicago’s "Merciless" Mike Mollo, scheduled for ten rounds.
Tickets start at $32 and will go on sale Wednesday, June 12 at 10 a.m. CT through Ticketmaster (www.Ticketmaster.com, phone, 1-800-745-3000), The Chicago White Sox (www.whitesox.com) the U.S. Cellular Field Box Office and the 8 Count Productions Office, (312-226-5800.). The ring will be set up behind home plate with the grandstand serving as a backdrop. Doors on the night of the event will open at 6 p.m. CT with the first bell at 7 p.m. CT.
"We are very excited about bringing boxing back to the South Side," said Kelly Kraft, Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. "August 16 will be a memorable night marking a rare opportunity for fight fans, baseball fans, and Chicago fans to experience boxing inside a ballpark."
The last Chicago baseball stadium professional boxing event took place on September 25, 1962 at the previous home of the Chicago White Sox, Comiskey Park. Headlined by the World Heavyweight Championship fight between champion Floyd Patterson and challenger Sonny Liston, over 260 million viewers worldwide watched ’The Big Fight" in addition to a huge crowd in attendance.
"Chicago used to be the greatest fight town in the world and we want to make it that way again," said Frank Mugnolo, President of Round 3 Productions. "My father went to the last great fight at Comiskey Park back in 1962 when Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson. Transforming the home of the Chicago White Sox into a boxing ring once again will bring back a lot of memories and help create new ones in the annals of Chicago boxing."
"For many years boxing events in ballparks in Chicago and across the country were commonplace," said Dominic Pesoli, President of 8 Count Productions. "In our last fifteen years of promoting in Chicago this most recent period has seen the sport of boxing in its finest hour and our event at U.S. Cellular Field will truly validate this growing success. We have put together an excellent card in keeping with what fans have come to expect at all of our events over the years."
Stated Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing, "My partner, Luis DeCubas and I are very excited to be working with Round 3 Productions and 8 Count Productions on this history-making event. We wish to thank the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority for their hospitality and thank them for their role in bringing big-time boxing back to Chicago."
"We both feel very privileged to be part of this fantastic event, the likes of which has not been seen in this great city in decades."
Andrzej Fonfara- a native of Warsaw, Poland, the 25-year-old, 23-2-0 (16KO’s), has become a longtime Chicago fan favorite amidst the vast local Polish community since turning professional in 2006.
Currently riding a fourteen bout unbeaten streak and known for his bone crunching knockouts, Fonfara most recently stopped former world title challenger Tommy Karpency on November 16 to earn the IBO Light Heavyweight World Title.
Fonfara made his highly successful ESPN Friday Night Fights debut on July 13, 2012, winning a dominant ten round unanimous decision over boxing legend Glen Johnson in front of a packed and raucous crowd at the UIC Pavilion.
Gabriel "EL Chico Guapo" Campillo- 21-5-1 (8KO’s), won the WBA Light Heavyweight World Title traveling to Astana, Kazakhstan on August 15, 2009 and defeating hometown favorite Beibut Shumenov by decision for the vacant title.
Last year, Campillo travelled to El Paso, Texas on February18, to challenge IBF World Title holder Tavoris Cloud. Despite being dropped twice in the first stanza, Campillo put on a boxing clinic throughout the balance of the fight, easily beating the champion to the punch on a consistent basis. However, Cloud kept his title by split decision, stunning many noted boxing writers watching the bout.
Artur Szpilka and Mike Mollo- Watched by millions around the world, the first clash between Artur Szpilka and Mike Mollo on February 1 at the UIC Pavilion was fought in a Rocky 1 like atmosphere with both heavyweights emptying their tanks in front of a huge "loud and proud" Chicago fight crowd.
Despite being dropped twice by the badly bleeding Mollo, the 24-year-old Szpilka rallied to halt the Chicago native with a stunning sixth round knockout, Mollo falling to the canvas at the end of an astounding display of valor.
Writing in his weekly scorecard ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael called the fight a "tremendous, action-packed, bloody battle."
A fan favorite in Poland as well as with the massive Chicago Polish community, Szpilka, 14-0-0 (11KO’s), followed up the win over Mollo with a first round stoppage of Taras Bidenko on April 20 in Rzeszow, Poland.
Over the course of his career, the 33-year-old Chicago born and raised Mollo, 20-4-1 (12KO’s), has thrilled local boxing fans with brutal second round knockouts of Kevin McBride and Art Binkowski.
The initial fight with Szpilka followed a two and a half year layoff; however, Mollo has begun training diligently in Chicago for the rematch with the goal of making a world title run in the near future.
A full undercard for this sensational event will be announced shortly.
U.S. Cellular Field is located at 333 W. 35th Street, one block west of the Dan Ryan Expressway.
The event will be presented by "The Promoters"- Round 3 Productions, 8 Count Productions, Warriors Boxing and Ulrich KnockOut Promotions in association with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.
8 COUNT PRODUCTIONS/ROUND 3 PRODUCTIONS
8 Count Productions, HOME OF THE BEST IN CHICAGO BOXING, was started by Dominic Pesoli in 1998 and has consistently presented the highest quality professional boxing events in Chicagoland.
Joining forces with Frank Mugnolo’s Round 3 Productions in 2011, their partnership is currently among the premier boxing promotional firms in the United States.
Fighters currently under the 8 Count Productions/Round 3 Productions banner include; IBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Andrzej Fonfara, middleweight contender Donovan George, world class junior welterweight prospect Adrian Granados, former world title challenger Edner Cherry, super middleweight prospect Paul Littleton, middleweight prospect Viktor Polyakov and welterweight prospect Jaime Herrera.
For more information on 8 Count Productions/Round 3 Productions please visit their new website, www.8CountProductions.com. Follow them on Twitter at 8 Count and Facebook at "8 Count Productions".
Launched in 2003, Warriors Boxing operates under a simple philosophy-bring the best boxers in the world to fight fans, match them in competitive bouts, and in doing so help re-establish the sport of boxing for a new generation.
With a series of successful Pay-Per-View shows and packed houses to its credit, the Warriors business model is working wonders in a sport that was sorely in need of the innovation and energy that the company brings to the table.
When it comes down to it though, a promotional company is only as good as the fighters and fights it promotes. Warriors Boxing has delivered on all fronts, with outstanding bouts such as Lara-Molina, Cayo-Peterson, Abraham-Miranda I and II, Miranda-Pavlik, Miranda-Green, Ibragimov-Briggs, Ibragimov-Klitschko, Urango-Hatton, Urango-Bailey, Cayo-Maidana and Ibraginov-Holyfield.
For more information on Warriors Boxing, visit their website at www.WarriorsBoxing.com.
THE ILLINOIS SPORTS FACILITIES AUTHORITY
The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority is the developer, owner and operator of U.S. Cellular Field, home of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox. www.isfauthority.com.