Chicago’s “Merciless” Mike Mollo (20-3-1, 12 KOs) knows what the script says: Even though he’s in his own hometown, he’s being brought into to lose to fast-rising Polish heavyweight prospect Artur “The Pin” Szpilka.
However, Mollo says that’s NOT the way it’s going to go.
The two will meet on the undercard of the ESPN Friday Night Fights-televised “King” Carlos Molina vs. Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks 12-round IBF Junior Middleweight Title Eliminator on February 1 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
Presented by 8 Count Productions, Round 3 Productions, Warriors Boxing and Blue Wave Boxing in association with Don King Productions, the exciting night of boxing will also feature a 10-round welterweight battle between two-time former world champion Jose Luis “EL Temible” Castillo (64-11-1, 55 KOs) and Florida’s Antwone “The Truth” Smith (22-4-1, 12 KOs) as the televised co-main event.
“I made a few bad business decisions, especially promotional-wise, and I’ve had three huge fights fall through on me on short notice, but what the boxing world may not know is that I haven’t been sitting around drinking beer and eating pizza. That’s not the case. I’ve been training the whole time for these fights. I’m in top shape and ready to go. I’m not some guy coming in for a payday.”
Mollo says he’s watched Szpilka in action and remains a lot less impressed than most.
“I don’t think he’s everything they say he is. We’re going to find out February 1. He’s fast and can hit a little, but I don’t think he’s the beast that he thinks he is. If they’re looking for an easy opponent, they should keep looking. I’m in great shape. I’ve put in a lot of hard work and all I have to do is hit him, which I’m going to. I’m going to explode on him. We’ll see how he takes it. I have never been down in my life. 25 professional fights and never hit the canvas. I know he’s been down, so we’ll see what he’s made of. I already know what I’m made of. I’m all guts and heart.”
Mollo, training at Go Time Boxing in Chicago and sparring with former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski and undefeated heavyweight David Latoria, says February 1 is going to be a great night for Chicago boxing.
“It’s going to be mobbed. He’ll probably have the Polish community out to watch him. And I have people renting buses to come watch me. It’s going to be awesome. I know it’ll be on Polish TV. I’m definitely TV worthy. I’ve proved myself.”
So if he’s not going to follow the pre-written script, how does Mollo think the fight will go?
“I’m just going to go in and do what I do, which is fight my fight and do what I’m capable of. I think it will work and so does my team. I’m going to cut the ring off and not follow him around everywhere and we’ll see what he does when a determined heavyweight is walking him down all night.”
The colorful Szpilka, who enters the ring in a jail uniform, has been known to be unpredictable in and out of the ring. Is Mollo worried about Szpilka’s antics becoming a factor at the weigh-in or press conference?
“I highly recommend he not do that. I got a lot of friends in this neighborhood who won’t put up with any of that stuff. He should keep the peace.”