HBO’s January 25 heavyweight showdown between Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs) is now in doubt after the latter was deported back to his native Poland on Sunday.
Szpilka was stopped at Chicago’s O’Hare International airport by Depart of Homeland Security officials and turned back for undisclosed reasons. Szpilka was arriving in the States to begin his final training preparations for the January 25 bout.
Promoter Gary Shaw, who represents Jennings, advised the media in a prepared statement that he is working closely with HBO and Szpilka’s promoter Leon Margules to get to rectify the issue.
“Team Jennings along with myself and Antonio Leonard are well aware of the visa problems Szpilka is having at the moment,” said Gary Shaw. “We are monitoring the situation very closely with Warriors Boxing Promoter Leon Margolis and hope this problem can get resolved very fast. This is a great fight between two undefeated ranked heavyweights and it would be disappointing if they are not able to fight. We are working endlessly to get Artur’s proper documents approved so they can meet January 25th on HBO.”
Jennings vs. Szpilka will serve as the undercard bout for the HBO card headlined by Mikey Garcia facing Juan Carlos Burgos at The Theater in Madison Square Garden. Szpilka scored a fifth TKO in his last bout against Mike Mollo on August 16. Jennings’ last fight was a sixth round corner stoppage over Andrey Fedosov on June 14.