Given his past fights many people expected Kamal Shalorus to stand and trade from the opening bell, but for a change he fought smartly in the first round, using his top class wrestling to take down Palaszewski and land powerful ground and pound to both his body and head for most of the round. Eventually the two got back to their feet and started swinging, with Shalorus finding some success with solid leg kicks while Palaszewski tried to work on his jab.
In the second round Shalorus appeared to abandon his wrestling, preferring to engage with his opponent on the feet. It was fairly even with the Iranian still finding a home for his leg strikes along with some winging punches, while Palaszewski continued to favor his jab and threw some dangerous looking head strikes that looked close to finding their mark. Eventually Shalorus remembered his wrestling though and again took the fight to the floor effortlessly, a smart move to score points on the scorecards in an otherwise tight round.
In the third Shalorus was visibly tiring, and despite being successful with a slightly sluggish takedown Palaszewski was able to bounce back to his feet immediately. After a few more exchanges the Iranian turned back to his wrestling and after a brief struggle was once again in top control. After spending some time attempting to advance his position the fight is once again back on the feet and Shalorus is running dangerously low on gas. Sensing this Palaszewski starts to turn up the pressure, and as his opponent wearily ducks down for takedown attempts he begins to land some hard knees, one of which might have floored a less resilient fighter. He also takes some head kicks and cleanly landed punches but somehow remains standing and makes it to the final bell.
It looks like Shalorus has done enough to win but Palaszewski’s third round comeback makes things interesting and it’s all down to how the judges saw the close second round. In the end it turned out to be a split decision in Shalorus’ favor (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
Shalorus yet again showed some great wrestling in the early rounds, and a cast-iron chin in the third, but his cardio issues late on in the fight are a concern and indicate he might have to learn to pace himself better rather than going for full power right from the off.
He improves to 7-0-2 while Palaszewski drops to 35-14.