Wach KO's Fields in WBC international title fight
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—Mariusz Wach stood tall in a casino ballroom, clutching his WBC title high over his head, and enjoying the moment with dozens of Polish countrymen who crashed the party.
"Polska! Polska! Polska!"
The post-fight chant was the same raucous one that greeted Wach as he made his entrance for his international heavyweight bout. Wach gave his fans a reason to celebrate, punishing Tye Fields with a serious of blows to the head before finishing him off in the sixth round Saturday to retain his title.
"I felt there was no way in hell you can beat me over here with my crowd and my people," Wach said.
He was right.
Wach (27-0, 15 KOs) was never seriously hurt by Fields. Wach unloaded a series of lefts and rights at the head, caught Fields with one final right and sent him into the ropes and face first onto the canvas. Fields (49-5, 44 KOs) made it to his knees but could not get up at 1:44 of the round.
About 900 of the roughly 1,000 fans inside Resorts Hotel and Casino cheered on Wach, making for a lively atmosphere for the late-afternoon card. They chanted, sang songs, and appeared to be yelling encouragement at Wach in their native tongue. Wach, who now lives in New Jersey, had them all come along for the party in the back.
"As soon as I came out of the door of the arena, I see all the people," Wach said. "Everybody wants to touch me, everybody was cheering me. I was trying to stay focused. Stay focused on my opponent, stay focused on my game plan. It is really very hard with the people singing so loud. Everybody wants to grab you and touch you."
Wach, who didn't head to the locker room or hold a formal press conference, snapped photos with fans wearing a red cowboy hat with "Polska!" on the front. The post-fight party, which, of course, included lots of singing, was wildly more entertaining than the fight.
After a methodical first four rounds, Fields took a beating in the fifth. Wach targeted Fields' face for most of the fight, bloodied his nose and left him staggering in the fifth. The 6-foot-7 Wach won his seventh straight bout by knockout or TKO in a streak that dates to 2009.
"I got away from my game plan," Fields said. "I thought I could tie him up, but he caught me with a right hand and put me on the ground. When I tried to get up, I was pretty wobbly. I knew coming in he was a great boxer. I wish him the best."
Wach said through a translator he knew he was going to get stronger as the fight went on.
Fields and Wach were once roommates when they served as sparring partners for heavyweight Samuel Peter. The win moves Wach closer to a potential heavyweight title fight against Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko.
Wach said he would take a week off before he starts training for his next fight.
Andrew Golota, who lost four heavyweight title fights, sat ringside for most of the slate.
On the undercard, Artur Szpilka (10-0, eight KOs) defeated Terrance Marbra (6-2, five KOs) in the first round. Also from Poland, Szpilka spoke Polish to the crowd after the fight, sending the fans into a frenzy.
Kamil Laszczyk (8-0, five KOs) won a unanimous decision over Philadelphia fighter Tevin Farmer (4-3-1, one KO) to win the vacant WBO youth super featherweight title.
Jerson Ravelo, who fought for the Dominican Republic in the Sydney Olympics, defeated Joey Spina in an eight-round split decision.
Stivens Bujaj (7-0, five KOs) earned a second-round TKO over Joshua Harris (8-6-2, six KOs).