In 1988 Piotrowski decided to leave Poland for the USA where he was determined to become a professional world champion, something he was unable to do in his own country due to the Communist-era rules on professionalism. He had his first professional fight in Rockford, Illinois in October 1988 against Bob Handegan whom he defeated via knockout in the 4th round. On 19 August 1989, in his fifth fight on American soil, Piotrowski sent shockwaves through the kickboxing community by outworking the reigning national champion Rick "The Jet" Roufus in a 10th round unanimous decision win. Piotrowski took Roufus's P.K.C. middleweight U.S belt.
As a result of his upset victory over Roufus, Piotrowski had his world title shot against the legendary Don "The Dragon" Wilson. On 4 November 1989, in Chicago, Illinois he defeated Wilson and took his belts, becoming the world champion of the P.K.C. and F.F.K.A kickboxing organizations, while Wilson had to vacate his I.S.K.A. world title due the loss (which Marek did not gain due to it not being an I.S.K.A. sanctioned event). As a result of his victories over two world class fighters, Piotrowski earned the nickname "The Punisher".
Throughout 1990 and 1991 he fought six more bouts, adding more championships to his collection by defeating Bob 'The Thunder' Thurman to win the K.I.C.K. Intercontinental title in Las Vegas, Nevada and Mark Longo to win the K.I.C.K. in Los Angeles, California. His kickboxing record now stood at 29 wins to 0 defeats (19 coming via knockout) and he held four professional world titles.
On 22 June 1991 in Chicago Piotrowski put his P.K.C. title on the line in a re-match against Rick Roufus while the vacant I.S.K.A. world title was also up for grabs. Piotrowski was not in the best condition for the fight, as ongoing personal problems hampered his preparation and he was defeated, suffering a heavy 2nd round knockout from a high kick that left him unconscious on the canvas. After suffering his first ever defeat, Piotrowski needed time to recuperate and did not fight for the rest of the year.
In 1992 Piotrowski decided to enter professional boxing, winning his debut against Keith Williams on 8 February by technical knockout in the 4th round. Despite starting his boxing career, Piotrowski still wanted to recover his lost titles and fought several kickboxing bouts, winning all of them. In July 1992 he fought the Canadian Conrad Pla for the I.S.K.A. North American title, defeating him by 10th round decision. After dismantling another opponent via 3rd round K.O. in Las Vegas, Piotrowski was ready for the opportunity to regain one of his world titles.
In Paris, France 1992 the North American I.S.K.A. champion met the W.K.A. Junior Light Heavyweight champion and legendary Dutchman Rob Kaman (also known as 'Mr Low-Kick', 98 wins, 78 K.O.s) for a shot at the I.S.K.A. World title, fought under Oriental Rules (this formula allowing low kicks). Unfortunately for Piotrowski he lost by technical knockout in a very dramatic fight - Kaman's renowned low kicks getting the better of him in the 7th round. He would look for another chance to avenge his defeats to Kaman and Roufus, but would never get it.
On 22 June 1993 he travelled to Montreal, Canada where he took on future K-1 fighter Michael "The Black Sniper" McDonald. Piotrowski won the fight by technical knockout in the 11th round, winning the W.A.K.O. Pro Full Contact World title, adding the professional W.A.K.O. title to the amateur one he had won back in 1987. Later that year he defeated Mike Winkeljohn by 8th round decision, finally getting his hands back on the I.S.K.A. (Oriental Rules version) World title belt.
In 1994 Piotrowski won two more titles. In February he defeated Roy McCown to win the little known T.B.C world title, while on the 15th March he defeated Javier Mendez in San Jose, California to win the I.S.K.A. (Full Contact) World title. By the end of the year he was progressively becoming less focused on kickboxing and more on boxing, going 4 and 0.
In December 1995 he returned to Poland for his last kickboxing fight. In Kraków he defeated Italian Stefano Tomiazzo, winning the W.K.A. World title. He finished his kickboxing career with a record of 44 fights, with 42 victories to just 2 defeats and had been an eight-time professional world champion with seven different organizations; W.K.A., I.S.K.A., P.K.C, T.B.C., F.F.K.A, K.I.C.K. and W.A.K.O. pro, as well as holding two amateur world titles.
After retiring from kickboxing Piotrowski continued his boxing career. Between 1992 and 1996, he fought in 21 fights and won all of them. He finished his career on 13 December 1996 in Hannover, Germany, defeating Greg Lavely on points. In 1997 he was offered to fight for a professional championship for the I.B.F. belt, but he had to refuse due to his health problems. Piotrowski returned to live in Poland in 2002.
Read more about this topic: Marek Piotrowski
Famous quotes containing the words career and/or professional:
“What exacerbates the strain in the working class is the absence of money to pay for services they need, economic insecurity, poor daycare, and lack of dignity and boredom in each partners job. What exacerbates it in upper-middle class is the instability of paid help and the enormous demands of the career system in which both partners become willing believers. But the tug between traditional and egalitarian models of marriage runs from top to bottom of the class ladder.”
—Arlie Hochschild (20th century)
“In European thought in general, as contrasted with American, vigor, life and originality have a kind of easy, professional utterance. Americanon the other hand, is expressed in an eager amateurish way. A European gives a sense of scope, of survey, of consideration. An American is strained, sensational. One is artistic gold; the other is bullion.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)