Pawel Wolak took a significant step up fight, and he lost badly in the ShoBox main event Friday evening at the Aviator in Brooklyn, NY. On the bright side, at least now the Pole knows where he stands in the fight game, and how far he needs to progress to get to the level of his foe, Ishe Smith, and the tier of fighters above Smith.
To his credit, the plucky Pole never gave up, and refused to mope after Smith had his way with him. The judges spoke after 10 active rounds: 97-93, 96-94, 96-94, for Smith. The crowd hated the call, but TSS gave Wolak maybe two rounds at most. Smith looked worried that the NY judges would hand the transplanted New Yorker an early Christmas gift.
The junior middleweight tussle was scheduled for 10 rounds, or fewer. The 26-year-old Pole Wolak (153 1/4 pounds) entered at 21-0, with 14 KOs; the 30-year-old Smith (153 1/2 pounds, from Nevada) came in at 19-3, with 9 KOs.
In the first, the two righties sized each other up. Smith can end up doing that for the whole fight, so viewers had to hope he'd be in busy mode. The crowd sounded hot, as Smith moved smartly, away from the pressuring Pole. He nailed Wolak with a few left hooks to the noggin. In the second, Wolak moved his hands more early. But he ate hooks and uppercuts. Then Smith's output dropped off some. Close round. In the third, we wondered whether Wolak has enough pop to bother Smith. But maybe Wolak could get him tired with pressure.
In round four, Ishe dug in with hooks and uppers. Wolak tried to rough Smith up, maul him some. But his tosses were arm punches, not enough on them, it looked like, to really bother Smith. Perhaps he could break down his will, by refusing to quit, and staying in his face? In the fifth, Wolak kept bulling forward. Smith would counter, with ruthless efficiency. Teflon chin, that Wolak. In round six, the accuracy of Smith kept on impressing. Wolak was too squared up to get much oomph on his throws, in contrast.
In the seventh, the Pole was still in Smith's face. Would Smith get tired maybe? Stranger things have happened in the realm of the sweet science, why stranger things happened tonight earlier on Friday Night Fights. In the eighth, Smith got a warning for a low blow. His energy lagged some, and he got tagged with a few more shots. Wolak by no means was folding up his tent. In round nine, Smith stayed busy with the jab and good movement. He was smartly coddling his lead. Or maybe he was departing from what was working, foolishly. In the tenth and final round, Smith let his hands go, rather than spending most of his time shuffling. Wolak was working his tail off as the final bell clanged.
Jorge Teron of New York beat Mexican Michael Lozada in the ShoBox opener. Teron had a six inch height advantage, which he took advantage of. Teron, age 23, worked well to the body, but scared his corner when, as in the fourth, he backed against the ropes without a care. the 135 pound Teron (22-0) can whack with the left hook to the body, for sure.
In the sixth, the Bronx resident Teron scored a knockdown, with a left hook to the ribs. He was up at six. He did it again five seconds later. This time, the 29-5 Lozada (134 1/2) did not stand up. His trainer/father was coming into the ring anyway. The end came at 1:23 of the sixth, via TKO. Teron is the NABO's lightweight crownholder.
SPEEDBAG Showtime features Vic Darchinyan/Dmitriy Kirilov on Saturday evening. Vic is rebuilding his career; 13 months ago, Nonito Donaire took him out, and Vic wants Kirilov's crown.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV