via press release:
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at U.S. Cellular Field August 16
First Pro Boxing Event at a Chicago Ball Park since Liston KO’d Patterson in 1962
Studio Show at U.S. Cellular Field; Former White Sox Player Ron Kittle in Teddy Atlas’ “Fight Plan”
The first professional boxing event at a Chicago baseball stadium in more than 50 years will be televised live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra August 16 when the show visits U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. Friday’s show, a special three-hour telecast (normally two hours), will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, WatchESPN and broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+. ESPN Deportes will join Friday’s fight in progress at 10:30 p.m.
The 12-round main event will feature former Light Heavyweight titlist Gabriel “Chico Guapo” Campillo (22-5-1, 8 KOs) and Andrzej “The Polish Prince” Fonfara (23-2, 13 KOs). The co-main feature will be a rematch between undefeated Heavyweight Artur “The Pin” Szpilka (15-0, 11 KOs) and Mike Mollo (20-4-1, 12 KOs). In between the co-main feature and the main event will be an 8-round bout between undefeated Jr. Welterweight Marc “The Ring Shark” Salser (15-0, 9 KOs) and Adrian “El Tigre” Granados (9-1-2, 5 KOs).
The last professional boxing event to take place in a Chicago baseball stadium occurred on September 25, 1962 at Comiskey Park when then Heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson lost his belt in a first-round knockout to challenger Sonny Liston.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside describing the action for ESPN2, while studio host Todd Grisham (@GrishamESPN) will be at U.S. Cellular Field presenting all the latest boxing news and highlights. Alejandro Pombo, filling in for Delvin Rodriguez, will call the fights with Pablo Viruega for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) on both ESPN Deportes+ and ESPN Deportes, while Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos will anchor the studio. Bilingual reporter Bernardo Osuna (@osunaespn) will present live interviews and reports for both shows.
Former White Sox Player Ron Kittle in Atlas’ Fight Plan Segment:
Former MLB player Ron Kittle, who spent most of his career with the White Sox, will participate in Friday’s “Fight Plan” segment, in which Atlas and a sparring partner outline what each fighter needs to do to win. Kittle, a former left fielder and designated hitter, was named American League Rookie of the Year in 1983. Kittle played for the Chicago White Sox (1982–86, 1989, 1991), the New York Yankees (1986–87), Cleveland Indians (1988) and Baltimore Orioles (1990).
“I started following boxing years ago when Howard Cosell was doing all the big heavyweight bouts – Ali, Frazier, Foreman, and even Jerry Quarry,” said Kittle, who is looking forward to serving as the “sparring partner” in the weekly “Teddy Atlas Fight Plan” segment, “I’m just glad they didn’t ask me to fight!”
Spain’s Campillo is coming off a fourth-round TKO win over Ionut Ilie, while Chicago’s Fonfara scored a seventh–round TKO win over south paw Tommy Karpency in his last fight. Before that Fonfara won a 10–round unanimous decision over former Light Heavyweight titlist Glen Johnson.
“I'm prepared for this fight,” Fonfara said. “I want to win this fight and show people I'll be the next world champion."
Szpilka vs. Mollo II:
Poland’s Szpilka, a longtime fan favorite with Chicago’s Polish community, is looking to continue his winning ways after a 10-round unanimous decision win over Brian Minto. Chicago’s Mollo is looking to rebound from a sixth-round knockout loss to Szpilka in their first fight.
Friday’s show will open with a replay of their first fight leading up to their live rematch.
|Date||Time (ET)||Main Event||Location||Networks|
|Fri., Aug 23||9 p.m.||Argenis Méndez (21-2, 11 KOs) vs. Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KOs)—12 rounds, Jr. Lightweights||Turning Stone Casino, Verona, N.Y.||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN|
*Schedule subject to change
Follow ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on Twitter @ESPNFNF or like it on Facebook. Follow ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates on Twitter @ESPNBoxeo. Also score the fights round-by-round with the “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting App,” an application on the ESPN FNF Facebook page that allows viewers to score the fight round-by-round.