Andrzej Fonfara (24-2) is another step closer to the IBF light heavyweight title after defeating Gabriel Campillo (22-6-1) via ninth-round knockout on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
The win marked Fonfara's first appearance in the ring since winning the vacant IBO light heavyweight championship with a seventh-round TKO victory over Tommy Karpency. But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the local favorite.
Campillo came into the fight with the odds stacked against him. Fonfara hadn't lost a bout since 2008 and had a massive crowd behind him as he's almost exclusively fought in Chicago throughout the year.
However, Fonfara had never fought someone of Campillo's caliber, and it showed early on.
Campillo showed the veteran savvy of a former WBA world light heavyweight champion in the early going as he was able to settle in and walk Fonfara down. As Steve Kim of MaxBoxing noted, Campillo was able to consistently pick apart the hometown favorite:
"Chico Guapo" would continue to dominate the middle rounds as the young Fonfora struggled to figure out the crafty southpaw.
However, everything would change in the eighth round when Fonfara would land some heavy blows and turn the fight on its head. Fonfara used that confidence in the ninth round to let his hands go and ultimately put Campillo away with a vicious body blow to end the fight as tweeted out by Douglas Fischer of Ring TV:
According to Przemek Garczarczyk of FightNews.com, the winner of this bout will now take on the winner of a bout between Eduard Gutknecht and Cedric Agnew to determine the next challenger to Bernard Hopkins' throne.
Hopkins is expected to defend his championship against Karo Murat on Oct. 19 in Atlantic City.