Having received his release from promoter Top Rank Inc. and manager Cameron Dunkin, Pawel Wolak has officially retired from boxing and begun his transition into mixed martial arts, Wolak informed RingTV.com on Monday.
“I did get a release from both Cameron and Top Rank, and I’m slowly starting,” said Wolak, 30, who earned the nickname “The Raging Bull” for his crowd-pleasing, in-your-face style. “I’m definitely going into the MMA, but I’m taking my time.”
Wolak (29-2-1, knockouts) announced his retirement from boxing on Dec. 8, just five days after his unanimous decision loss to Delvin Rodriguez at New York’s Madison Square Garden in a rematch of their majority draw in July.
A former high school wrestler, Wolak plans to combine the two disciplines in order to enter the sport of MMA prior to the end of 2012.
“I’m very busy. I work all of the time, so I’m taking my time with people and making contacts,” said Wolak, a married father who splits his time as a construction worker and roofer.
“Hopefully, by the of this year, I will be in a fight in the the octagon, but I don’t want to be a fluke in MMA. I’m ready to do this to the very end, so I have to be ready.”
Wolak rode an unbeaten streak of 8-0-1, with five knockouts into his return bout with Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KOs). Rodriguez-Wolak I was selected Fight of The Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, with both fighters delivering fierce, all-action efforts.
Wolak fought the entire second half of the fight while peering through severely cut and swollen eyes, the right side of his face marred by a hematoma the size of a ripe grapefruit.
Wolak’s biggest career victory came in March under former manager Ivan Edwards, when the New Jersey pressure fighter scored a sixth-round stoppage of former WBA 154-pound titleholder Yuri Foreman. Prior to that, Wolak rose from a second-round knockdown to stop Jose Pinzon in the seventh round in December.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com