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Andrzej Fonfara Eyes August 16 Return


By Matthew Paras

Chicago light heavyweight (and current holder of the IBO light heavyweight title) Andrzej Fonfara has his sights set on an August 16 return at U.S. Cellular Field.
Fonfara, currently recovering from a hand injury, was originally scheduled to headline the March 22 card at the UIC Pavilion against Nicholson Poulard. While training, the “Polish Prince” reinjured his hand after breaking it in his last fight against Tommy Karpency.
On Friday, Fonfara, 23-2 (13), told Maxboxing he believes that he will be the headliner for Chicago’s historic return to the home of the Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field. The fight will be part of Chicago’s first outdoor card since 1962 when Floyd Patterson fought Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship in the very same venue, when it was known as Comiskey Park.

“It’s a great thing that boxing is returning there,” Fonfara said. “I have a lot of Polish fans and it’s a great thing. I want to be a part of that. If I think about [the potential crowd of Polish fans], it is my motivation to step in the ring. I want to be the main event there.”
Fonfara’s promoters, Dominic Pesoli and Frank Mugnolo of 8 Count Productions and Round 3 Productions, respectively, were noncommittal to Fonfara headlining and were tight-lipped regarding the potential main event. Still, with Fonfara’s Polish fan base and the arena to be scaled for 12,000 people, Fonfara is an obvious candidate to headline.
However, the key for Fonfara is to get healthy first. Fonfara, who had a brace over his left hand, told Maxboxing he recently had surgery and is four to six weeks out from returning to training.
“My hand is much better,” Fonfara said. “It’s come back very fast. A couple more weeks, I’ll have [physical therapy] and then a couple of more weeks, I’ll start training.”
Who Fonfara returns against is the question. Fonfara said he wants to fight the top light heavyweight contenders. Among them, Fonfara mentioned IBF titlist Bernard Hopkins and WBO titlist Nathan Cleverly as possible targets.
“Cleverly sent me a proposition two times,” Fonfara said. “The first time, the money wasn’t good and the second time, we sent him a good proposition back and he doesn’t call us back. I want to fight with him. I’ve said this a million times. I want Cleverly.
“Cleverly’s a tough kid. He’s got good combinations and is really fast but he doesn’t have a strong punch,” he added. “He fought Karpency and he couldn’t knock him out. I sent [Karpency] down twice. If it weren’t for my hand, I would have knocked out [Karpency] maybe in the third. If I fight with [Cleverly], I think I would win. I would knock him out.”
As for Hopkins, Fonfara saw the 48-year-old dispatch Tavoris Cloud and walked away unimpressed. Fonfara said he expected Cloud to win but Cloud wasn’t smart enough to beat Hopkins.
“In the first three or four rounds, it was a little bit boring. Cloud gave Hopkins too much respect,” Fonfara said, “but Bernard won and is a life-legend. I think if I get back into shape, I can beat both guys.”
For now, Fonfara is focusing on letting his hand heal and waiting to see who he’ll fight next.
“I want to fight the best guys in the world,” Fonfara said. “We’ll sit down, my brother and manager [Max Fonfara] and my promoter [Dominic Pesoli], to see who we’ll want to fight.”
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