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Granados, Szpilka come away with wins after being knocked down

By Matthew Paras


Having four knockdowns between them, Chicago jr. welterweight Adrian Granados emerged as the victor Friday with a six round stoppage over Mark Salser.

The fight was the co-main event at US Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, and televised on ESPN 2 as part of “Friday Night Fights.”

Granados, 12-2-2 (8), got off to a busy start, pressing the action and throwing combinations. During his offensive output, Granados would continuously keep his chin out. Salser, 15-1 (9), would soon make him pay.


In round two, Salser landed a huge counter left hook sending Granados down instantly. Granados was seriously hurt, getting up and stumbling around the ring. Referee Celestino Ruiz allowed the action to continue and Granados made it through the round.


When he wasn’t hurt, Granados boxed well. The 23-year old fighter darted in and out, landing a multitude of punches.


Salser, however, made Granados pay again for keeping his chin out. During the fourh round, Salser sent Granados down for a second time – this time on a counter right hand.


The fifth round saw both fighters fight with a sense of urgency. As the round closed, Granados and Salser exchanged a flurry of punches in a neutral corner.


Sensing he was behind on the scorecards, Granados came out in the sixth round with another onslaught. Early in the round, Granados connected with a hook to the body that sent Salser down.


Salser got up, but Granados attacked his opponent again. Granados landed another series of punches to the body, and Ruiz jumped in to stop the fight at :56 seconds of round six.





They say lightning never strikes twice. At US Cellular Field, they were wrong.


In a highly anticipated rematch, Artur Szpilka landed a picture-perfect left cross to knockout Mike Mollo in the fifth round. The fight was eerily similar to the fighters’ first fight in Feburary where Szpilka won by knockout in the sixth .


More importantly, the fight was equally as entertaining.


“I have to give my props to this dude,” Mollo said. “He’s a great warrior.”


After a quiet first round, Mollo, 20-5-1 (12), and Szpilka, 16-0 (12), went to work in round two. Mollo, who trained with Miami’s Dino Spencer in preparation for the rematch, went to the body early and connected with the right hand. At the end of round 2, Szpilka stunned Mollo with a left.


Szpilka used that moment to become much more aggressive in round three. The crowd-favorite Pole walked Mollo down and repeatedly landed the left.


However just as in the first fight, Mollo had the ability to turn the fight around in a moment. Midway through round three, Mollo connected with a left hook that sent Szpilka crashing to the canvas.


With both men spending a lot of energy, the pace slowed in round four. Mollo failed to capitalize on his knockdown. It would eventually end up costing him.

In round five, Szpilka’s left hand spilled Mollo onto the canvas in very similar fashion to the first fight’s knockout.


The official time of the stoppage was 1:41.




Trinidad Garcia vs Ramiro Bueno


In the second fight of the night, Trinidad Garcia, 5-3-3, and Ramiro Bueno, 2-3-1, battled to a split majority draw by scores of 39-37 and 38-38 twice.


Amanda Cooper vs Kristin Gearheart


Making her pro debut, Kristin Gearheart, 1-0, earned a unanimous decision over Amanda Cooper, 1-1 (1), in the first fight of the evening. Gearheart, a former five-time Golden Glove champion, relied on her amateur experience by controlling the distance and landing straight right hands. Scores were 40-36 and 39-37 twice.


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