Recently Heavyweight prospect Artur Szpilka (13-0, 10) was given the toughest test of his career as American Mike Mollo (20-4-1, 12) genuinely gave him a hellish time. Sadly however it wasn't either fighter that really made a lasting impression but instead foul mouthed referee Celestino Ruiz who genuinely needs to be asked questions after his showing in the bout.

The bout, which had a great atmosphere started well with Mollo bringing the pressure to Szpilka and although Mollo looked crude (and like he was wearing tights) he came to fight. The opening round was pretty clean until Mollo seemed to wrestle Szpilka down after hurting the Pole. The referee then made his first mistake by counting it as a knockdown.

As if Ruiz knew he had made a mistake he tried to level things up and soon afterwards he was warning Mollo for infractions that didn't seem to happen (at least not deliberately) and then swore at him as he exclaimed "Watch your fucking head". Soon after the warning for the head the referee started warning Mollo for use of the elbow.

Early in round 2 Mollo was again warned, for what was effectively just him tying Szpilka up (and this even elected Teddy Atlas to make a comment about the referee "that doesn't seem to like Mollo too much"). Late in round 2 a bloody Mollo was taken to the ringside Dr to evaluate the cuts (including a second one that had been caused by an elbow) and after the Dr was done Ruiz again shouted at Mollo. As the bell went to end the round Mollo threw shots at Szpilka and almost got wrestled to his corner by Ruiz who then went into Mollo's corner and started to yell at him once again.

At the very start of round 3 the referee threaten to disqualify either man if any more offenses occurred, despite having not taken a point from either fight up to this point. It was obvious from the state of the cuts on Mollo's face that he shouldn't have been allowed to continue and with a minute left the referee took Mollo over to a different Dr. The Dr didn't look very happy though allowed the bout to continue. Close to the end of the round Mollo was again told to "watch the elbow" oddly whilst he getting hit from distance by Szpilka.

Part way through the 4th round Mollo was again taken over to the Dr who effectively cleaned the cut before the referee ordered them to fight on. Amazingly the Dr, who had said Mollo was fit to continue had himself been covered with Mollo's blood. Although Mollo did drop Szpilka immediately after seeing the Dr the bout really should have already been stopped as a No Contest.

Early in round 5 the referee again made life hard for Mollo. After Szpilka went down from what the referee clearly called a "slip", he then deducted a point from Mollo, which lead to Teddy Atlas asking "why?" and the crowd booing loudly. At one point later in round 5 Mollo looked to the referee as if he though Ruiz was going to shout at him again.

Sadly for Mollo he was stopped in the following round by a wonderful combination by Szpilka, though the controversy from Ruiz is really the lingering story from the bout.

Amazingly Ruiz has been a referee since around 2007 and has done numerous bouts so the unprofessionalism shown here really isn't the behavior that we'd expect from him. Hopefully the commission has dragged him over the hot coals and given him a much needed suspension after this horrific and "show stealing" performance which was given help by the Dr's.

The fight, in it's entirety can be seen below thanks to SzpilkaMolloKO
2/7/2016 01:45:50 pm

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