Frank Sinatra once crooned that Chicago was his kind of town. Well, if anyone concurs with the sentiments of the late Chairman of the Board, it’s Andrzej Fonfara—and not just because the the Polish native now resides in the Windy City.
You see, during his 30-fight pro career, Fonfara has fought 13 times at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion. And 13 times he’s walked out of the building a winner.
Andrzej Fonfara (27-3, 16 KOs) will try to make it 14-for-14 when he returns to UIC Pavilion on October 16 to battle Nathan Cleverly (29-2, 15 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout between the 175-pound title contenders (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
“I’m excited to return to my hometown of Chicago on this big fight night against a world-class fighter like Nathan Cleverly,” Fonfara said. “This will be a tough fight for both of us.”
“This is a major platform for me to prove that I am more than capable of becoming world champion again,” Cleverly said. “If I beat Fonfara, it’s a doorway fight to the world title and establishing myself as one of the best [175-pound fighters] once again.”
Fonfara, 27, has been idle since April 18, when he upset Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Fonfara dominated the son of the Mexican legend from the opening bell, eventually knocking him down in the ninth round—the first time Chavez had been sent to the canvas in his career. Chavez quit on his stool at the end of the round, giving Fonfara the biggest win of his career.
The victory was Fonfara’s second in a row after losing a unanimous decision to 175-pound world champion Adonis Stevenson in May 2014. Of Fonfara’s last 15 victories, 13 have come via knockout (with 10 of those KOs coming at the UIC Pavilion).
“Cleverly is a solid fighter, and it’s no fluke that he was a world champion and that he defended his belt so many times,” Fonfara said. “Our fighting styles guarantee that everyone can expect fireworks on October 16. I want this fight to be a quick stop on my way to a rematch with Adonis Stevenson.”
Cleverly needed less than half a minute to win his last fight, stopping Tomas Man just 24 seconds into the first round in London on May 30. That followed a split-decision loss to Tony Bellew in November, which was his third consecutive fight in the 200-pound division.
Cleverly, whose only other blemish was a fourth-round TKO loss to Sergey Kovalev in August 2013, has seen four of his last five fights end in knockout fashion (two of them losses).
“Fonfara is a good fighter,” said Cleverly, a 28-year-old Wales native who will be fighting for the second time in the U.S. “He’s tall, has power and has moved up through the levels in his career. I am looking forward to coming over to Chicago and I am very confident that our styles will blend well for a really exciting fight.”