Photos by Sumio Yamada
MIKE MOLLO vs ART BINKOWSKI
Last week there were a couple of colourful off-TV heavyweight fights on the Peter-McCline undercard and there is another one on Saturday when Mike Mollo meets "Polish Warrior" Art Binkowski in the 12 rounds chief support to the Diaz versus Diaz lightweight title fight.
Mollo is from Chicago; Binkowski lives in Toronto but is billed from Chicago and might be the crowd favourite because he has the heritage with which the citys large Polish population can identify.
This should be a slugging match that 1950s writers would have called a Pier 6 brawl as both men like to press the fight and throw punches and neither is particularly strong on defence. Of the two, Binkowski is the easier to hit, a bit surprising considering his good amateur background, having boxed for Canada in the super heavy division in the 2000 Olympics.
Binkowski has been something of an earnest plodder as a professional, losing to the hefty but ordinary Patrice LHeureux in a Canadian title bout and fighting to draws against a fading Charles Hatcher and trial horse Tipton Walker, although he did grind out a decision win over Demetrice King, who is a better fighter than his record suggests.
The fight that got Binkowski noticed on a wider scale came when he survived three first-round knockdowns to outlast the heavy-handed Raphael Butler on ShoBox last April and fans might recognise him from his role as 1930s heavyweight Corn Griffin in Cinderella Man.
Mollo, meanwhile, had a protected record early in his career, got stopped in the fourth round by DaVarryl Williamson in what was a major step-up fight after doing well for three rounds and then got his biggest win by banging out massive Kevin McBride in an upset.
Take away Mollos win over McBride, however, and there is not too much to choose between Binkowski and himself. Mollo, at 27, is the younger man by five years and he looks the better puncher and Binkowski is there to be hit. If Binkowski can get through the early rounds he might be able to wear down Mollo by the later stages of the 12-rounder. I lean towards Mollo by stoppage around the seventh but I make this is an anything can happen type of fight.
RESULT: Mollo TKO2.