Ewa Piatkowska Survives A Tough Challenge From Maria Lindberg
By Phil Woolever
International women’s boxing maintained its growing momentum as defending titlist Ewa Piatkowska battled Maria Lindberg for the WBC super welterweight championship on Friday night.
Piatkowska (11-1, 4 KOs) earned a rugged, majority decision victory over Lindberg (16-4-2, 9 KOs) in an entertaining bout that went back and forth through the entire ten rounds at Narodowy Stadium in Warsaw, Poland.
“I left my heart in the ring,” Piatkowska told the audience afterward. “She was tough and in great condition. I kept her at a distance but that’s not my style. I’d rather move forward and attack, but that didn’t make sense against her.”
It was one of those fights in which a draw wouldn’t have been the worst verdict, but the nod went to Poland’s Piatkowska.
The result was completely justified, and in no way should it be called a hometown decision for the local fighter.
Scoring was 95-95 by Andreas Stenberg and 96-94 by Daniel Van de Wiele and Przemyslaw Moszumanski. The PrizeFighters.com saw it 97-95 for Piatkowska, with two rounds even.
Lindberg,152 1/2, looked bigger and stronger during a close, busy opening round. Piatkowska,148 3/4, backed up while standing straight, and fired constant jabs as Lindberg advanced from a crouch.
Piatkowska avoided punches and kept Lindberg at the end of her jab, but not all the time. There were many good exchanges and the fight was even at the halfway point.
Some rounds were a coin flip.
Piatkowska stayed on her toes as the fight wound down. Her speed didn’t decrease, but Lindberg’s pressure did.
Referee Arek Malek did a good job controlling the clinches.
You could say the last two frames would decide the outcome, and both women fought like it.
After 10 rounds both boxers raised their arms in triumph at the finish, and both had a reason to.
The contest was part of a National Sporting Gala and one of the biggest events on the country’s calendar.
The card included local heavyweight Artur Szpilka against Dominick Guinn. A scheduled tilt between Mariusz Wach and Eric Molina was cancelled due to Molina’s suspension for a previously failed drug test.
Piatkowska and Lindberg received equal billing to the men and prominent placement as a co-main event on national TV.
Michael Buffer was the announcer, a sign of elite Eurozone
prestige. He did a fine job pronouncing some unfamiliar and challenging names.
“This is the most important fight of my career and a great event for ladies boxing in Poland,” Piatkowska told broadcaster Sport TVP prior to the match. “The women’s struggle has never had such exposure in our country.”
Piatkowska wasn’t exaggerating. Televised boxing typically has a much larger audience in Western Europe than in the United States, and while numbers were unavailable at press time, an estimate of at least a million viewers is probably accurate.
Between injuries, promotional snags and a basic lack of viable options opponent-wise, “Tigress” Piatkowska had been out of action since September of 2016.
There was no ring rust to be seen.
As detailed in a recent article by David Avila, female boxers often have to venture into a lion’s den to secure title opportunities, and that was the case for Sweden’s Lindberg.
This was Lindberg’s sixth fight in a foreign country and she came very close to victory. Her strong showing and willingness to travel should translate to another opportunity soon enough.
As for Piatkowska, she enjoys good sponsorship and a solid fan base in Poland, so whether she’ll travel for big fights remains to be seen.
“I’m taking a week off for school, to finish post-graduate studies,” said Piatkowska. “Then I’d like to fight in Poland again this year.”
(photo by sport.onet)