By Johnny Walker, reporting from Atlantic City
It was an afternoon to celebrate at the Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey yesterday for a raucous, packed house of Polish fight fans, as both Mariusz “The Viking” Wach and Artur “The Pin” Szpilka scored knockout wins in their respective heavyweight contests.
With the crowd going wild and chanting his name like a mantra, the Polish bad boy Szpilka, sporting his usual prison jump suit but minus the sexy strippers, was all business as he made his way into the ring, and once the bell sounded, he made short work of the hapless Terrance Marbra (6-2, 5 KOs).
Szpilka (10-0-0, 8 KOs) put his opponent to the mat midway through round one with a wicked, stinging body shot that hurt just hearing it land. “The Pin’s” combination of power and speed was way too much for Marbra, who went down for the final time at 2:46 of round one, a loser via TKO.
Szpilka’s Polish counterpart, Mariusz “The Viking” Wach, faced a bit stiffer competition from the Canadian giant Tye Fields. After cheekily appropriating Vitali Klitschko’s trademark ring walk music—AC/DC’ s”Hell’s Bells”—Wach proceeded to do his best to give Fields a “devil” of a beating.
Wach (27-0-0, 15 KOs) and Fields (49-5-0, 44 KOs) exchanged tentative jabs for the majority of round one, but the Pole opened up near the round’s end with some solid combinations. Fields looked very fit, very powerful, and also very slow, as he launched wide bombs that were for the most part easily avoided by his quicker (in comparison) foe.
Give Fields credit, he was there to win, not just to survive, and both fighters were working hard in round three. But it was Wach who made the biggest impression, landing two big right hands to Fields’ face that had the latter man hurt momentarily. Wach, however, ran out of time and energy and Fields escaped the round.
Wach was perhaps a bit tired in round four, and Fields proceeded to have his best round of the fight, finding the range with some thumping body shots. But his success would not last. Wach was a new man in round five, repeatedly scoring with hard right hands and right-left combos, culminating in a wild flurry near the round’s end that left Fields with a bloody nose.
Wach showed that he has the killer instincts necessary to be a champion, taking Fields out once he literally saw blood – he knocked the big man out at 1:44 of round six, retaining his WBC International heavyweight title in the process.
(Photos by Stephanie Walker)