U.S. Cellular Field, home to the Chicago White Sox, will host its first professional boxing match in over fifty years this weekend. The last time that the venue played host to a match was on September 25th, 1962 when Charles “Sonny” Liston knocked out Olympic Gold Medal boxer Floyd Patterson in the first round to take Patterson’s title. The victory earned Liston the world heavyweight championship. This weekend, boxing fans will see another huge card as there will be not one, not two, but three matches in a special three-hour edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.
This week’s edition of Friday Night Fights will be broadcast live at 9pm ET on ESPN2, WatchESPN and broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+. ESPN Deportes will join programming in progress Friday night at 10:30pm ET. Friday’s card is anchored by two main event fights. The first of the night’s main events is a twelve-round matchup between former Light Heavyweight titlist Gabriel “Chico Guapo” Campillo (22 – 5 – 1, 8 KOs) and Andrzej “The Polish Prince” Fanfara (23 – 2, 13 KOs). Campillo comes into Friday’s fight having won his most recent fight with a fourth-round TKO over Ionut Illie. Fonfara, a Chicago native, came out on top in his last match having scored a seventh-round TKO over Tommy Karpency. And before that match, Fanfara added another notch to his “W” column in taking a ten-round unanimous decision over former Light Heavyweight titlist Glen Johnson.
Fanfara was unflinching in his mental preparation for his match against Campillo. “I’m prepared for this fight,” he said. “I want to win this fight and show people I’ll be the next world champion.”
Fanfara and Campillo’s matchup is just one half of Friday’s double main event. The second of the night’s main event fights features a rematch between undefeated Heavyweight Arthur “The Pin” Szpilka (15 – 0, 11 KOs) and Mike Mollo (20 – 4 – 1, 12 KOs). Szpilka is said to be a fan favorite among Chicago’s Polish community. He comes into Friday’s fight looking to keep his winning ways going after taking a ten-round unanimous decision over Brian Minto in his most recent fight. Mollo’s first match against Szpilka didn’t go so well for him [Mollo]. It ended in a sixth-round KO loss to Szpilka. Fans can get caught up on that match as Friday’s show will open with a recap of that first meeting between the two men.
In between Friday’s dual main event, fans will be treated to an eight-round fight between Jr. Welterweight Marc “The Rising Shark” Salser (15 – 0, 9 KOs) and Adrian “El Tigre” Granados (9 – 1 – 2, 5 KOs).
The commentary team of Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore will be ringside calling all the action for ESPN2 and WatchESPN. They will be joined by Todd Grisham at the ESPN Studios. Grisham will have all of the latest boxing news and updates, as he does each week. Alejandro Palumbo will fill in once again for Delvin Rodriguez. Palumbo will join Pablo Viruega ringside to call all of the action for ESPN Deportes+ and ESPN Deportes. The pair will be joined in studio by Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos. Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for both English and Spanish speaking audiences.
Friday night’s fight is presented by Corona Extra. Next up for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is a twelve-round Jr. Lightweight bout next Friday between Argenis Mendez (21 – 2, 11 KOs) and Arash Usmanee (20 – 1, 10 KOs) Next week’s fight will be broadcast live from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. It will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN, and ESPNDeportes+.
Fans can keep up with all of the latest Friday Night Fights news on the official FNF Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf. When fans “Like” the FNF Facebook page, they can also download the Live Friday Night Fights Facebook voting app. The app allows viewers to score the fights themselves round-by-round from the comfort of their own homes. Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest Friday Night Fights news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://twitter.com/ESPNBoxeo.
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