By: William Holmes
The first world heavyweight title fight in Brooklyn in 115 years was held today at the Barclays Center as the WBC World Heavyweight Title was up for grabs between Deontay Wilder and Artur Szpilka. Fight fans were treated to another heavyweight world title fight for the IBF title between Charles Martin and Vyacheslav Glazkov.
The undercard featured several fights from Brooklyn, New York and Polish heavyweight Adam Kownacki and there was a larger than usual crowd in attendance for the non-televised bouts. Julian Sosa and Ivan Golub were the two most impressive boxers on the undercard, which featured five stoppages.
Some of the sections in the upper portion of the Barclays Center was closed off by the start of the televised portion of the event, but a large majority of the seats available for purchase were filled.
The first televised fight of the night was between Charles Martin (22-0-1) and Vyacheslav Glazkov (21-0-1) for the IBF World Heavyweight Championship.
Glazkov looked to be in much better shape than Martin, but Martin was clearly the bigger and taller boxer. Glazkov focused his attacks to the body in the first round with an occasional check left hook, while Martin was trying to find his range in a rather uneventful first round.
Martin picked up his punch output in the second round, but neither boxer was able to land a punch of significance. Glazkov was short with his punches, especially when he aimed for Martin’s head.
Glazkov was mainly focusing to the body in the third round until Martin landed a clean two punch combination on Glazkov followed by a straight left hand that momentarily weakened his legs. Martin appeared to land a punch that sent Glazkov quickly to the mat, but the referee ruled it a slip. Martin was controlling the distance in the ring when he landed another hook that sent Glazkov to the mat. When Glazkov got back to his feet he could be seen shaking his head no and limping back to his corner. The referee briefly talked to him and then waived off the fight.
The replay showed a punch didn’t even land and Glazkov’s knee just gave out. Jimmy Lennon announced that Glazkov had a torn ACL, and that was later confirmed by Doctor Varlotta.
Afterwards Glazkov stated, “This should have been my belt, I had already figured him out. I slipped and felt a sharp pain in my right knee, and I felt it give out. I’m very upset. I want a rematch when I recover.”
Title by TKO at 1:50 of the third round, due to a knee injury to Glazkov that left him unable to continue.
The main event of the night was between WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (35-0) and Polish heavyweight Artur Szpilka (20-1).
Even though this fight was on US soil, a large majority of the 12,668 fans in attendance were cheering on Szpilka.
The crowd was very raucous and boisterous at the beginning of the bout. Szpilka came out in a southpaw stance and Wilder was in an orthodox stance. Szpilka was reaching for his hooks in the first round and appeared a little jittery and jumpy. Wilder was also able to block most of the left hooks from Szpilka, but he wasn’t able to connect often in the first round and missed often with wild hooks.
The polish crowd serenaded a song in between rounds, and Szpilka started off the second round by showing a lot of head movement and slipping the punches of Wilder. Szpilka was able to land some quick three punch combinations while Wilder was able to land a few stiff jabs.
The third round was another close round, but Szpilka was able to land two clean lunging left hooks on the taller Wilder. Wilder did end the round with a hard right cross to Szpilka’s head as well as a short right uppercut.
Wilder took control of the fourth round by sticking with his jab early on and landing it at a high rate of accuracy. Szpilka was tagged hard with two jab cross combinations from Wilder, and in fact it was the hardest combination of the fight at that point. The fourth round was a clear round for Wilder.
Wilder started off the fifth round with a smile on his face and opened up with a vicious right cross to the head followed by two jabs to the body. Szpilka was wild with his punches at first, but landed a left hook after a brief tie up that whipped the crowd into a frenzy. They both landed crosses at the same time at one point, but Szpilka pressed forward throwing combinations and was able to land a few hooks. Wilder ended the round with an emphatic right uppercut.
Wilder was sharp with his jab early on in the sixth round and was able to keep Szpilka at bay. At one point Szpilka began to showboat near the corner of the ring, but two hard right crosses from Wilder quickly ended that. Szpilka was not as effective in the sixth round was he was in the fifth.
Wilder controlled the seventh round with several head snapping right crosses. Szpilka appeared to be losing the bounce in his step, but was able to pick up his pace near the end of the seventh, but it was probably too late to win him the round.
Wilder controlled the eighth round with his jab, but at one point missed with a wild right hook and slipped to the mat. Szpilka was unable to get inside and land any hard shots.
Szpilka was not pressing forward as much to open up the ninth round and Wilder was using his jab to keep him at bay. The end came when Wilder landed a brutal right cross to a charing Szpilka that landed flush on his chin and immediately knocked him out.
Deontay Wilder showed he can entertain, and knockout a worthy opponent. Wilder retains his WBC title with a knockout at 2:24 of the ninth round.
The judges had it 77-75, 78-74, and 78-74 at the time of the stoppage.
After the fight Tyson Fury got in the ring and stood eye to eye with Wilder. Both boxers exchanged words and got into each other’s faces, and the crowd seemed to eat up every word that Wilder said.
Undercard Quick Results
Maciej Sulecki (22-0) defeated Derrick Findley (22-18-1) by TKO at 1:29 of the 7th round in the middleweight division.
Ivan Golub (10-0) defeated Juan Rodriguez Jr. (12-4) by TKO at 2:41 of the 1st round in the welterweight division.
Botirsher Obidov (4-0-1) defeated Ramil Gadzhiev (1-1) by decision with scores of 39-37 on all three scorecards in the super middleweight division.
Carlos Gongora (4-0) defeated Derrick Adkins (1-1-1) by TKO at 1:58 of the fourth round in the light heavyweight division.
Julian Sosa (4-0) defeated Bryan Timmons (3-7) by TKO at 1:48 of the second round in the junior welterweight division.
Mike Lee (16-0) defeated Joseph Gardner (11-9-1) by TKO at 0:43 of the third round in the cruiserweight division.
Adam Kownacki (13-0) defeated Danny Kelly (9-2-1) by decision with scores of 80-72, 80-72, and 79-73 in the heavyweight division.