Lem’s latest: Visa received, Artur Szpilka fights Bryant Jennings
Heavyweight Artur Szpilka is expected to arrive in Chicago on Friday night for his Jan. 25 bout against Bryant Jennings after having received his visa from the United States Embassy in Poland.
The optimism of Warriors’ Boxing Promoter Leon Margules has been validated regarding the resolution of paperwork issues of Szpilka (16-0, 12 knockouts), who had been returned to Poland by The Department of Homeland Security on Sunday after having landed at Chicaco's O'Hare International Airport on Sunday.
"His visa had expired, we got him a new one and he's on his way to the United States. He'll get to Chicago tonight," said Margules. "I'm relieved and exited that he's going to get this opportunity on HBO. His preparation is fine. He didn't stop preparing."
Szpillka will face Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs) in the HBO-televised co-feature to a main event between WBO junior lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia and respected two-time title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos at New York’s Madison Square Garden on HBO.
Szpillka was last in the ring for a fifth-round knockout of Mike Mollo in August. He also stopped Mollo in the sixth round of a wild fight in February. Jennings, who is co-promoted by Gary Shaw and Antonio Leonard and managed by James Prince, is coming off a sixth-round stoppage victory over Andrey Fedosov in June. In the meantime, Jennings has remained focused and continued with his training regimen.
Garcia (33-0, 28 KOs) is coming off an eighth-round knockout of Roman “Rocky” Martinez in November that earned him the belt and represented his 10th stoppage victory over the course of his past 11 fights.
It was the second major title in a second weight class for Garcia, who earned THE RING and WBO featherweight titles in January by beating Orlando Salido, whom he dropped four times en route to an eight-round technical decision.
Garcia followed up the win over Salido with a fourth-round knockout of ex-beltholder Juan Manuel Lopez in June, and in Burgos, meets a man who battled Martinez to a split-draw on the Garcia-Salido card.
INJURED ANDREY RUDENKO OUT OF DERECK CHISORA FIGHT
Heavyweight challenger Andrey Rudenko has been forced to pull out of his scheduled Feb. 15 bout against European titleholder Dereck Chisora after having suffered a ruptured achilles tendon, according to Chisora's promoter Frank Warren.
The bout with Chisora (19-4, 13 knockouts) was slated to happen at London's Copper Box Arena, but the injury to Rudchenko (24-0, 16 KOs), during a training session this week, leaves Chisora in search of another opponent.
"We’re disappointed to hear that Rudenko has suffered this serious injury and has had to withdraw," said Warren. "It’s very unfortunate, but these things happen, and we have to move on and secure Chisora a new challenger for his European title on the Feb. 15. We have some names that we are working and will look to announce the name very shortly."
Also on the card are heavyweight Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 KOs) against an opponent to be determined.