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July 17, 2017

By G. Leon

GL: Not the outcome or performance you wanted from Artur Szpilka last night. Can you tell us what that was? What went wrong? I don't know what it was to tell you the truth. He did absolutely nothing that we worked on for six weeks. He did absolutely nothing we worked on. Adam did everything we knew he was going to do. We knew he was going to come forward and throw punches. Our plan was to double and triple the jab and then let his hands go when he gets him into the middle of the ring and then get back to stepping around. His problem was he was stepping around, but he had nothing coming at Adam. Whenever he punched he landed, but he didn't do enough of that. And he's got this thing that he does every single time, he gets on the ropes and he puts his hands down after he gets hit to try to show the opponent that he wasn't hurt. He does that all of the time, over and over and over, I stressed to him that's a stupid thing to do and it makes no sense. He did it last night and got hit with four or five shots in a row and the referee stepped in and stopped and it was a good stoppage.

GL: I've never seen a guy that you worked with who you descibe as a hard worker and a pleasure to work with, basically get into the ring and shit the bed like that. He didn't seem focused or locked in from the start.

Ronnie Shields: "It was crazy. I didn't understand it."

GL: What did Szpilka say after the fight?

RS: "He didn't say much of nothing. You know in New York after you get stopped now they have this thing where you have to go to the commission's office for an hour and they don't let anybody go in there with the fighter. Afterwards he came back to the dressing room, but he had all of his people with him and I couldn't talk to him. I saw him in the restaurant last night, but I didn't get to say much to him really."

GL: Where does he go from here? Does he need to figure out if this boxing thing is what he really wants to do?

RS: "Everybody is asking me that and I honestly don't know. Maybe it's an effect still from the Deontay Wilder fight, but he didn't show any of that in the gym. He got hit with good shots in the gym and they didn't faze him, but he's the one who has to figure out what he wants to do."

GL: Fights aren't fought on paper, but he was the favorite for a reason. He had been in there with better opposition and performed solidly against top heavyweights. When I spoke to him before the fight he felt like he was beyond the level of Adam and was borderline overlooking him.

RS: "I think it surprised a lot of people, but I told him from the very beginning when they signed this fight that this would be a hard fight and you have to be ready. You can't make mistakes with this guy because he's going to be coming and he's always there."

GL: When you don't take a guy seriously, that's when he becomes a serious opponent.

RS: "That's exactly right. And the thing about Kownacki is he takes a good shot and throws a lot of punches. So when you're fighting a guy like that it's hard to sit down with him unless you're willing to exchange. Szpilka has a great amateur pedigree and he's fought some good guys as a pro. I just don't understand why he gets caught on the ropes so much. He was throwing the hook to get off the ropes, but in the third and fourth rounds he just stayed there and I don't understand it. I don't understand how you can work on doing the right things, but then do everything wrong when you get in the ring."

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