Kownacki: ‘A lot of great fighters lost and came back, so I’m about to do the same’

Heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki(20-1, 15 KOs) was expected to dominate Robert Helenius(30-3, 19 KOs) on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. However, in boxing, anything can happen, and one punch can change things, which was the case in this fight. A clean Helenius right hook hurt Kownacki in the fourth round before a left hook put Kownacki down. Helenius kept attacking and battered the Polish star and Brooklyn native before referee David Fields stopped the fight.

“A lot of great fighters lost and came back, so I’m about to do the same,” Kownacki said to the assembled media after the fight.

Before winning his last fight in November, the 36-year-old Helenius was coming off a stoppage loss to Gerald Washington, so he was supposed to be a showcase opponent for Kownacki. If Kownacki would have won, he probably was going to have major fight him in Brooklyn, where he is a draw, but as we all know, that did not happen.

‘What’s next for Kownacki? Well, there was not a rematch clause in this fight, so we’ll see if he does get the rematch with Helenius. However, if that does not happen, Kownacki is still a draw in Brooklyn, so maybe he could get another winnable fight, which could set up a big fight for him at some point. 

It was a bad night for Kownacki, but since he does have a lot of popularity in Brooklyn, maybe this loss won’t be too much of a setback. However, if he wants to be a factor in the heavyweight division, Kownacki has to be in better shape. Kownacki was way too heavy(265 pounds) on Saturday night, so if he wants to beat the top guys in the heavyweight division, he might have to take his conditioning a little more seriously moving forward.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Kownacki on loss to Helenius: ‘It wasn’t my night’

Robert Helenius (30-3, 19 KOs)scored an upset victory over previously unbeaten Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) by stopping him in the fourth round of a WBA Heavyweight Title Eliminator headlining FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday night from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

“I want to thank everyone who gave me this opportunity,” said Helenius. “Kownacki is a tough fighter. I worked hard in training camp and it paid off.”

Brooklyn’s Kownacki was fighting for the 10th time at Barclays Center in front of his hometown crowd, but was unable to keep the taller Helenius off of him after being hurt early in the fourth. A clean Helenius right hook hurt Kownacki, before a left hook put Kownacki down.

“I knew that I hit him hard and I knew I just had to continue,” said Helenius. “I knew he was still hurt after that punch.

“Kownacki just kept coming and coming. He’s a good fighter I have to give it to him. My strength is to punch back when people come at me. It was a good fight and a tremendous opportunity for me to be here.”

While Kownacki outpaced Helenius landing 84 punches to 49 according to CompuBox, it was Helenius’ 12 power punches landed in round four that made the difference. Helenius kept up the relentless attack, consistently hurting Kownacki and pushing him around the ring until referee David Fields waived off the fight 1:08 into the round.

“It wasn’t my night,” said Kownacki. “It’s boxing. It’s a tough sport and things just didn’t go my way tonight. It was a learning experience, and I’m going to go back to the drawing board and get back to work.

“He hit me with a good shot. I knew what was going on, but I’m just upset with myself. It is what it is.”

Watch fight highlights here and here.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Kownacki: ‘I want to fight the best’

Heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki(20-0, 15 KOs) brings the fans out in Brooklyn. The undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn native has a big-time fanbase in Brooklyn and wants to put on a show for the fans on March 7 when he battles Robert Helenius at Barclays Center(FOX).

A win over Helenius will get Kownacki one step closer to a title fight. On Wednesday, Kownacki took part in a media workout from the world-famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.

Here is what Kownacki had to say:

“It’s been a hard camp, and we’ve been doing extra strength and conditioning to make sure I’m ready. We also worked hard on our skills like we always do. It’s all going to add up to a great fight on Saturday.

“It’s great to be headlining on FOX. We’ve done a lot of promotion, and I love doing interviews with the media. I definitely want to make the most of being on this stage.

“Right now, I’m just focused on Robert Helenius. It’s going to be a tough test and a tall test. I have to be ready to exact my game plan and pass the test.

“His jab is the main thing I’m focused on. If I can get past his jab, I think I’m going to have a lot of success. When I get inside, I’m going to punish him, and If I get the chance, I’ll be ready to end the fight.

“I want to fight the best. My team will talk about what’s next for me and what kind of step-up I can get. Right now, I’m just focused on March 7 and what’s going to be in front of me.

“The support here in Brooklyn keeps getting bigger, and I love it. It shows that if you’re a kid from Brooklyn, you can make your dreams come true. Hard work is all it takes.

“Of course there’s pressure on me fighting at home. But if you want to be great, you have to perform in those situations. It’s going to keep getting bigger and bigger, and I’m going to keep putting the work in get better and better.”

Helenius: ‘Adam(Kownacki) is a heavy brawler and a good fighter, but his boxing skills are not that strong’

Veteran heavyweight contender Robert Helenius shared updates from training camp as he prepares to battle undefeated Polish star Adam Kownacki in a WBA Heavyweight Title eliminator that headlines FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, March 7 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

“I spent four weeks of training camp at home in Finland, training in the Aland Islands, then I sparred for a week in Alabama at Deontay Wilder’s gym,” said Helenius. “It was a great experience and I learned a lot being around so many good fighters while working with my coach Johan Lindstrom. Sparring fighters like Robert Alfonso and Nathan Gorman will definitely help me be at my best on March 7.”

Helenius most recently knocked out Mateus Roberto Osorio in November, after an unsuccessful U.S. debut in July that he dropped to former title challenger Gerald Washington. Helenius is confident that he’s corrected the errors that led to that defeat.

“In the Washington fight, I relaxed in the later rounds,” said Helenius. “I got too comfortable and I know that I cannot do that again. I’m going to fight Kownacki from the first bell to the end and show the U.S. fans what I can do in the ring.”

In Kownacki, Helenius faces a tough challenge against an unbeaten rising contender. Kownacki brings an action packed style and relentlessly comes forward, rarely giving his opponent a chance to breathe.

“Adam is a heavy brawler and a good fighter, but his boxing skills are not that strong,” said Helenius. “That’s where I believe I have the advantage. I know that I can out box him if that is the best strategy on fight night. The fans are going to see two different styles collide.”

Another challenge that this fight presents is that Helenius will be fighting Kownacki in his hometown of Brooklyn, where Kownacki has shown he can create an unfriendly atmosphere for his opponents.

“I’m not worried at all about where the fight is taking place,” said Helenius. “I just have to stay true to my style and the rest will take care of itself. I can’t let the crowd force me to fight a style that is not mine. I’m going to use my skills to get this win.”

Photo Joanna Maj/Team Kownacki
 

Kownacki: ‘Two fights before the Wilder rematch weren’t that great, so how good is (Tyson) Fury really?’

Undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki will headline in his hometown on Saturday, March 7 when he takes on Robert Helenius in a WBA Heavyweight Title eliminator as the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

Kownacki has proven himself as a popular draw in a borough full of heavyweight boxing history, and will look to continue to capitalize on that opportunity in this title eliminator.

“This will be my second time headlining at Barclays Center and having the whole New York community, especially the Polish fans, coming out to support me really feels amazing,” said Kownacki. “I grew up in Brooklyn, so seeing my face everywhere on ads and billboards is a great feeling. There’s definitely a little bit of added pressure being in that situation, but diamonds are made with pressure.”

For this fight, Kownacki has had to make the small sleep adjustments that come with having a six-month-old son, but he continues to feel strong in camp, even testing himself against another Polish heavyweight contender in Mariusz Wach.

“With the baby, I’m sleeping less for sure, but this has been a really strong camp,” said Kownacki. “It’s pretty much the same routine training-wise and it’s always the same dedication that we put in every day. We brought in Mariusz Wach for a few weeks of sparring to help me get ready for this one and I think that’s helped me a lot as well.”

The 30-year-old’s first headlining performance in his hometown came in August on FOX, when he won an exciting action fight against former title challenger Chris Arreola. Now he will face a new challenge in the veteran Helenius, who has faced top competition throughout the world and stands over six-feet six-inches tall, making him one of Kownacki’s most imposing opponents to date.

“Helenius is a totally different opponent than Arreola,” said Kownacki. “He’s much taller, which poses a new set of challenges. Against Arreola, it was easy to get on the inside. With Helenius’ height, I’m going to have to work behind my double-jab and then let my punches go.

“He’s very experienced and he’s been in there with a lot of talented fighters. He fought Derek Chisora and Dillian Whyte, going the distance with both, and he’s a former European champion. So, his experience is something I have to be careful with. I’m not looking past him at all.

“Helenius is going to come in with the mindset as if I’m a world champion. I know he’s going to try to take my spot in the rankings. I’m starting to feel like when fighters get in the ring with me, it seems like they’re extra-motivated. But I’m motivated too. I’m in shape and ready to showcase my skills next weekend at Barclays Center.”

This will be Kownacki’s 10th fight at Barclays Center, where he has not only become a fan-favorite, but established himself as a contender in the red-hot heavyweight division. March 7 gives Kownacki another chance to showcase that he has what it takes to end up on top of the heavyweight ladder, and become the first Polish heavyweight champion in boxing history.

“The division is wide open,” said Kownacki. “Right now, Tyson Fury is considered number one. But his previous two fights before the Deontay Wilder rematch weren’t that great, so how good is Fury really? If you look at the top-ten heavyweights, I’m the only one with a clean record, no losses or draws. On Saturday, March 7, I have to prove that I belong in a title fight.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Kownacki: ‘Hopefully, next year I’ll get the title shot’

Unbeaten Polish star and Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) earned a unanimous decision over Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) in an all-action brawl in front of his hometown fans that headlined FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes Saturday night from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™. 

Kownacki and Arreola set the CompuBox heavyweight record for combined punches landed and thrown in a heavyweight fight. They landed a combined 667 punches, besting the previous record of 650, while throwing 2,172 punches, far surpassing the previous mark of 1,730.

“Chris is an Aztec warrior,” said Kownacki. “He’s a great fighter. I knew it would be a tough fight and I prepared for it. The CompuBox numbers prove it was a great fight.”

“Adam is relentless,” said Arreola. “He just keeps coming. I know I got him with some good punches and he got me with some good ones. I was more than ready to go all 12, but Adam came in and won the fight.”

The action began right from the first bell, as Kownacki charged at Arreola and immediately began exchanging as both men threw power punches in bunches. Kownacki worked off of his jab to initiate his offense, while Arreola was effectively able to counter his hard-charging opponent and respond every time he was hit with a combination.

“I thought it was a good close fight but I knew I pulled it out,” said Kownacki. “I landed a lot of shots and that was enough to win. That’s all that matters.”

Kownacki stunned Arreola in the early moments of round two but Arreola quickly responded to slow Kownacki’s momentum. Arreola found more and more success with his overhand right as the fight went, landing the punch numerous times in the fourth and fifth round especially.

Round six was a back and forth affair that featured a big offensive surge from Kownacki early in the round, before an exciting exchange at the end of the round saw both men take heavy punches.

“I tried to follow up when I had him hurt but I was throwing two punches instead of three or four,” said Kownacki. “Props to Arreola because he proved he could still hang. I’m sure the fans would want to see him again.”

The middle rounds saw Arreola pick up a hand injury, but it didn’t appear to slow him down much as his punch output continued to be strong for the second half of the fight. For Kownacki, it was his first time going past 10 rounds as a pro.

After the punches continued to fly through the last bell, the two heavyweights embraced in the ring prior to hearing the judges’ scores. After 12 rounds, all three judges saw the fight in favor of Kownacki, by scores of 117-11 twice and 118-110

“Retirement is something I need to talk to my family and team about,” said Arreola. “I gave it my all this fight. I let it all hang out. After breaking my hand, I kept fighting because I believed I could win.”

“I just have to keep training hard, getting better and sharpening my skills,” said Kownacki. “We’ll see what the future holds. Hopefully, next year I’ll get the title shot.

Photo: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions

 

Kownacki on Arreola fight: ‘I want to get the knockout’

Undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki showed off his skills at world-famous Gleason’s Gym on Wednesday as he prepared for his main event showdown against Chris Arreola, which headlines FOX PBC Fight Night this Saturday from Barclays Center.

For the 30-year-old Kownacki, a win over Arreola moves him one step closer to a title shot. However, he knows he can’t overlook his opponent.

“I’m ready to go. I’m looking to make a statement on Saturday,” Kownacki said at his media workout on Wednesday. “It’s been a long full camp, and I’m ready for anything Arreola is going to bring.

“My focus is completely on Chris Arreola. Of course, somewhere in the back of your mind, you think about the future. But I know that I have to take care of business Saturday before anything.”

While Kownacki believes he is prepared to go the distance against Arreola, his goal is a knockout.

“I’m ready to go 12 rounds,” Kownacki said. “I want to get the knockout, and we’re going to fire versus fire. The knockout is definitely what we trained for, and I’m expecting that result.

“This is great exposure for me, and we’re going to give the fans a great fight. We’re both coming in with heavy hands, and we’ll be ready to let them go.”

Fortunately for Kownacki, his Polish fans will be out in full force at Barclays Center, which excites him.

“It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere,” Kownacki said. “I can’t wait to see the crowd and enjoy the moment. It’s going to be a sea of red and white shirts. You can’t miss it.

“I used to go to all of Tomasz Adamek’s fights at Prudential Center, and that was really inspiring. Seeing everyone come together was amazing. One guy being able to bring everyone together is incredible.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Kownacki on WIlder: ‘I knocked out Artur Szpilka and Gerald Washington faster than he did’

Polish star and heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki(19-0, 15 KOs) is slowly moving up the heavyweight rankings. The Brooklyn-based boxer is a crowd favorite at Barclays Center, and on August 3, he will battle former title challenger Chris Arreola(38-5-1, 33 KOs) in Brooklyn.

Kownacki is coming off a stoppage victory over Gerald Washington back in January. The ultimate goal for Kownacki is shot at WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, and Arreola will be the third opponent(Washington, Artur Szpilka) that Kownacki and Wilder have in common. Both Kownacki and Wilder stopped Washington and Szpilka, but Kownacki stopped Washington and Szpilka faster than Wilder, and he hopes to do the same against Arreola.

“This is the third fighter I’ve had in common with Deontay Wilder,” Kownacki said on Tuesday at a press conference at Barclays Center. “I knocked out Artur Szpilka and Gerald Washington faster than he did, and I’m looking to do the same August 3.”

Kownacki and Arreola are two fighters that like to come forward, which, according to Kownacki, should make for a great night of boxing.

“Chris Arreola and I are going to put on the Fight of the Year,” Kownacki said. “We’re going to show that the big guys can really fight.

“The heavyweight division is hot right now, and this is going to add to it. With our styles being guys who come forward, it doesn’t get better as a boxing fan.”

If Kownacki keeps winning, he might have a chance to get his title shot against Wilder. Kownacki has a decent sized fanbase in Brooklyn, so if both fighters keep winning, we might see Wilder-Kownacki near the end of 2019 at Barclays Center.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

Kownacki-Arreola, Browne-Pascal, Berto-Cruz set for August 3 in Brooklyn

Undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn-native Adam Kownacki will look to thrill in front of a hometown crowd when he steps into the ring against veteran former title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola for a 12-round heavyweight showdown that headlines FOX PBC Fight Night on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, August 3 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features former world champion Andre Berto taking on Miguel Cruz in a 10-round welterweight clash and unbeaten interim WBA Light Heavyweight Champion “Sir” Marcus Browne battling former world champion Jean Pascal in a 12-round bout.

The heavyweight division is red hot and Kownacki is a top rising challenger who will look to continue his ascent up the rankings with a win over the all-action veteran Arreola. This will be Kownacki’s ninth fight at Barclays Center, and his first as the headlining attraction.

Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) is noted for his tenacity and has been progressing towards a world title shot with knockouts in five of his last six fights. The 30-year-old, who was born in Lomza, Poland and moved to Brooklyn when he was seven, was an accomplished amateur in New York City before turning pro. He scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over former world champion Charles Martin last year and is coming off of a devastating knockout victory against Gerald Washington in January on FOX. His last three fights and six of his last seven have taken place at Barclays Center, where he has routinely brought out the area’s passionate Polish sports fans.

Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KOs), a veteran of the heavyweight division, has contended for the world title three times, most recently against WBC champion Deontay Wilder in 2016. Since losing to Wilder, the 38-year-old Arreola from Los Angeles, California has put together back-to-back victories, including a stoppage of then unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin on a PBC on FOX Sports pay-per-view undercard in March.

Berto (32-5, 24 KOs) has fought some of the top welterweight champions of this generation, including Floyd Mayweather. The 35-year-old won a welterweight world title with TKO victory over Miguel Angel Rodriguez in 2008 and successfully defended it five times before losing it to Victor Ortiz in 2011. He later avenged that loss to Ortiz with a knockout victory in 2016 on FOX. A native of Winter Haven Florida, Berto is coming off a split decision victory over former welterweight champion Devon Alexander in his last fight in August on FOX.

Cruz (18-1, 12 KOs) is among a group of promising welterweights prepared to burst onto the scene in one of the most talent-rich division in boxing. The 28-year-old from Lake Mary, Florida will be stepping up a level with his bout against Berto. He scored a TKO victory over Luis Eduardo Florez in his last fight in January to bounce back from a decision loss to Josesito Lopez on FOX in April 2018.

“I’m excited for all my Boricuas and NYC fight fans to come out and show love in August 3,” Cruz said. “I want to thank everyone who made this opportunity possible, and I’m definitely going to make the most if it. This is a different era in boxing and I’m here to prove it to the world and to Andre Berto. Don’t miss this night of boxing.”

The 28-year-old Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) won the interim title with a rousing unanimous decision victory over former two-division champion Badou Jack in January. A 2012 U.S. Olympian from Staten Island, Browne has fought at Barclays Center 12 times in his career as he made his steady climb up the light heavyweight ranks. Pascal will be the second straight former world champion that he has faced.

Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs) has been in the ring with the top fighters of his era during his brilliant career, including Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev, Carl Froch, Lucian Bute and Chad Dawson. The 36-year-old, who was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and now lives in Laval, Quebec, Canada, won the light heavyweight world title with a unanimous decision over Adrian Diaconu in 2009. He is coming off a loss to Dmitry Bivol in his last fight after putting together back-to-back TKO victories over Ahmed Elbiali and Steve Bosse.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions