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Andrzej Fonfara’s puzzling TKO victory pleases Pavilion crowd

Andrzej Fonfar(right) knocked down Tommy Karpency twice first round. Fonfarbroke his right hsecond. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Andrzej Fonfara (right) knocked down Tommy Karpency twice in the first round. Fonfara broke his right hand in the second. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 17, 2012 10:14AM

In an ending that had the crowd of 4,224 at the Pavilion scratching its head for a while, Andrzej Fonfara won the IBO light-heavyweight title Friday with a seventh-round technical knockout of Tommy Karpency.

After being knocked down twice in the first round, Karpency had battled back to make it a close fight. In the seventh, he came out like a house of fire, but the fighters got tangled, and Fonfara (23-2, 13 knockouts) threw him off. Karpency (21-4-1) got up from the canvas but told referee Pete Podgorski that he had had enough, and the fight was waved off at 57 seconds of the round.

What had happened was not immediately apparent, but the pro-Fonfara throng erupted in cheers when the popular “Polish Prince” had his hand raised by Podgorski.

Karpency told the Sun-Times that something in his right shoulder was injured when he fell in the seventh, and he could not continue because he was unable to raise his arm. He also reportedly told his corner before the seventh that he felt sick and wanted to quit.

Podgorski said he never considered issuing a point penalty when Fonfara flung Karpency to the mat and that he asked the loser twice whether he wanted to continue.

“He went crazy at the start of the seventh,” Fonfara said. “I saw before the start of the round that he was saying something to his corner like it was now or never.

‘‘He tried to knock me out. He can’t. And so he quit. I think he was just looking for an excuse.”

The quick knockdowns might have worked to Fonfara’s disadvantage as the fight went on.

“I might have been trying too hard to knock him out,’’ Fonfara said. ‘‘I had him really hurt. And then I hurt my right hand.”

Fonfara broke the fourth metacarpal in his right hand in the second round.

At the time of the stoppage, Karpency was ahead on two of the judges’ scorecards 57-55, and one had it 57-55 for Fonfara.

The first knockdown in the first round came after Fonfara landed a short right hand. Karpency was held up by the ropes, and Podgorski ruled it a knockdown. Karpency hit the canvas a few seconds later after absorbing a right hand as he was pulling away. Fonfara landed some other blows, but the Pennsylvanian was able to survive the round.

Hitting the deck seemed to light a fire under Karpency, who came out strong in the second and took the momentum away from Fonfara. He continued his strong work in the third, and Fonfara was there to be hit and seemed reluctant to let his hands go.

The fourth and fifth were solid rounds for Karpency, who put together a five-punch combination in the fourth punctuated by a short left hook and landed some big looping rights in the fifth.

The “Polish Prince” picked up the pace in the sixth, connecting with a triple jab and a big body shot in his best round since the first.

Then came the seventh. Confusion reigned, but the big crowd went home happy.

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