Wilder: ‘It’s good to know that Usyk will be in the arena’

Former WBC Heavyweight World Champion and boxing superstar Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder(42-2-1, 41 KOs) previewed his long-awaited return to the ring during a media workout in Las Vegas Thursday, as he prepares to take on top-rated Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius(31-3, 20 KOs) in a WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator on Saturday, October 15 topping a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will see Wilder look to make his first step toward becoming a two-time heavyweight champion with an emphatic victory over the hard-hitting Helenius. Wilder’s first title reign saw him rack up an astounding 10 consecutive successful defenses and a staggering 91.1% knockout rate, combining to make him one of the biggest stars in the sport today.

Wilder talked a number of topics, including a possible fight with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who is expected to be ringside for Wilder-Helenius.

On what he expects from Helenius…

“I always want a good matchup. Robert (Helenius) has been on a winning streak and he’s here. I’ve been hearing he’s supposed to be the mandatory for (Oleksandr) Usyk and however that’s laid out, but I know he’s coming with his A+++ game. They always do when they fight me.

“With Robert, I think he’s gotten even more confident because he’s been sparring with me for many, many years. So we kind of know each other. At this point in camp, we’re trying to do some things that he’s never seen before. And I’m sure he’s trying to do some things that I’ve never seen before. And the one thing I like about Robert is that he has a warrior’s heart, just like me.”

Toby Acuna/Premier Boxing Champions

On training nonstop for long lengths of time…

“We’ve been doing 30 or 40 rounds nonstop. Only time I get water is during the break. I’ve just been doing things like that to challenge myself, doing things that have never been done before, or that you don’t really do in boxing. I wanted to see how my body adjusts to the long length of time without a break. When you can go a long time without taking a break, you’re in shape.”

On what’s special about fighting at Barclays Center…

“It’s not only just the beautiful arena that they have there, but they pack so many electrifying fans in there… I think Barclays Center has some of the best fans around. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve had an open-armed welcome, and I’m going to receive the same, or even greater, this time around. And I’m all smiles. I’ve been ready to come back to Barclays Center for some time now, and I get that opportunity… I’m coming back Brooklyn!”

On Usyk potentially being ringside on October 15 and a possible showdown against him in the near future…

“It’s music to my ears. I hold Usyk to be a very honorable person and a man of his word. So I’m looking forward to that. I’m not looking past Robert by any means. It’s good to know that Usyk will be in the arena. Welcome to a great show. And to all the fans, welcome to a great show for whoever is watching and attending, but I’m not looking past Robert.

“For Usyk to be able to bless me with a title shot when I’ve blessed so many during my reign, it’s a great feeling. So we’re going to get past October 15, and then after that we can see what happens. I’ve got a lot of things lined up, a lot of options in the works for me… But when it’s dealing with a title shot you’ve got to jump on it when the opportunity presents itself.”

On a renewed energy and doing things ‘his way’ in the second half of his career…

“It feels good. Even in my first reign, a lot of it was my way. But this right here is totally 100% Deontay Wilder’s way. I’m in a different position right now. And it just feels great to be in the position I’m in with no pressure. I don’t need the business anymore. When I do it, I do it for my own personal reasons. I’m doing it for the people and I’m doing it for some hardware, some titles.”

Wilder: ‘I’ve had a great career, and now I’m back again for my second reign’

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder(42-2-1, 41 KOs) is back and will return to the ring after a year away to battle heavyweight contender Robert Helenius(31-3, 20 KOs) on October 15 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn(FOX PPV).

The 36-year-old Wilder is looking to return to his winning ways after getting stopped in his last two fights against Tyson Fury. 

For this fight against Helenius, who has won three straight, all by TKO, Wilder is training in Las Vegas, and according to the Alabama native, he’s doing things differently in this camp.

“We’ve put in over 400 rounds so far, and training camp has been great,” Wilder said via satellite on Monday. “I’m trying to do something different with adding Don House to the team working in Las Vegas. We wanted to change up some things, go more rounds and see what happened.

“This training sounds like it could be a lot on your body, but when you’re in shape physically and mentally, nothing is impossible.”

Wilder has sparred with Helenius over years, so the two have a relationship. However, for Wilder, this is business.

“I’m looking forward to October 15 and sharing the ring with Robert,” Wilder said. “I highly respect Robert and his team. We’ve always had a connection, but unfortunately, in this business, you have to go against each other sometimes. But make no mistake, just because we know each other, it doesn’t mean this fight won’t be interesting…

“I know what Helenius is capable of doing, and I know what kind of heart he has. He’s coming to bring his best, and I always bring mine. This is a serious fight between two warriors in the heavyweight division. We’re coming to put it all on the line.”

The Barclays Center has been good to Wilder. He’s 4-0 in that arena, including four knockouts. The last time he was at Barclays, he knocked out Dominic Breazeale in one round.

“Every time I fight, you’re on the edge of your seat because I’m going in there 110%,” he said. “I’m looking forward to this fight and coming back to Barclays Center, where some of my most exciting knockouts have occurred. I have remarkable memories there, and I can’t wait to display my talent.”

This summer, “The Bronze Bomber” got a statue erected in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. That statue motivated Wilder to get back in the ring.

“Getting a statue in my hometown let me know that there was more work to do. I have to continue to fight and motivate and inspire. This reign is going to be a special one because it’s going to be dedicated to the people…

“I’ve had a great career, and now I’m back again for my second reign. It’s amazing to reminisce about all the years and about how I got to where I am now. It’s been an honor. We had a game plan, and we executed that game plan.”

Wilder still has an opportunity to make a lot of money. There are still big fights out there for him, including big-money fights against Anthony Joshua, the winner of Andy Ruiz-Luis Ortiz, and even possibly a battle with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. However, if Wilder wants those big fights, business must be handled against Helenius.

Wilder-Helenius, Plant-Dirrell set for 10/15 at Barclays Center(FOX PPV)

Former WBC Heavyweight World Champion and boxing superstar Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder will take on top-rated Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius in an explosive 12-round WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator between ferocious punchers in the main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, Oct. 15 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

In the co-feature, former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant faces two-time WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell in a highly anticipated 12-round WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator between 168-pound rivals. Two additional pay-per-view undercard bouts will be announced to round out the action-packed four-fight lineup presented by PBC.

One of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) is on a mission to become a two-time world heavyweight champion following a first reign that included 10 title defenses, a feat accomplished by only seven heavyweights in boxing history. The “Bronze Bomber” now returns to Barclays Center, a venue where he has fought four times and thrilled the crowd with some of his most spectacular knockouts. The 36-year-old slugger from Tuscaloosa, Alabama earned his moniker by winning bronze at the 2008 Olympics. He rejuvenated the heavyweight division when he captured the WBC belt in January 2015, becoming one of boxing’s biggest stars with an all-time heavyweight best 91.1% knockout percentage and a captivating personality to match. Coming off an epic trilogy with Tyson Fury, Wilder remains must-see television and one of the greatest fighters of this era.

“It’s been a long journey for me and as of today it continues. I thought so many times about whether I should stay out of the business or come back,’’ said Wilder. “Once I got my statue in my hometown and saw so many people arrive and celebrate with me and my family, to see all the emotions, grown men crying in front of their children and saying he is a real true king, made me feel like my job is not done. So, here I am once again, looking forward to returning to the ring. I am looking forward to coming to Barclays Center, a place where I have had my most devastating knockouts and a place I consider my second home. So where all my Bombzquad people at? It’s time to put on your war gear. And let’s go to work, baby. Bombzquad is back!”

Helenius (30-3, 19 KOs) stamped himself as one of the world’s best heavyweights with consecutive stoppage wins over the previously unbeaten Adam Kownacki, including an October 2021 sixth-round TKO win over Kownacki in Helenius’ last outing. Born in Sweden and fighting out of Mariehamn, Finland, Helenius established himself as one of Europe’s top heavyweights prior to making his U.S. debut in 2019. The 38-year-old “Nordic Nightmare” has won six of his last seven bouts.

“It’s great to be back at Barclays Center in an even bigger fight than my last one. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and I’m going to be ready,’’ said Helenius. “I’m going to produce an even bigger upset than I did with Kownacki. I’m going for the belt, so this is a fight to prepare me to achieve that goal. I can only become the best heavyweight in the world by beating the best and that’s what I intend to do on October 15.’’

The 30-year-old Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) used his sublime boxing skills to rise through the ranks of the super middleweight division. In his first world championship fight, the Ashland City, Tennessee-native Plant, who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, took the fight to veteran Jose Uzcategui and won the title in a hard-fought unanimous decision in 2019. Plant dropped the first match of his career in his last fight, losing to Canelo Alvarez in an undisputed super middleweight championship fight on November 6. He will look to rebound and get back on the world title track in a grudge match against his rival, Dirrell.

“I’m looking forward to fighting at Barclays Center for the first time,” said Plant. “I know the fight fans in Brooklyn are going to come out for this card. I’m feeling good and I’ve been in the gym working hard since my last fight. I’m going to put on an excellent performance and retire this guy.”

Dirrell (34-2, 25 KOs) is a two-time super middleweight world champion who won one of the toughest battles of his life when he beat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008. The 37-year-old from Flint, Michigan won his first world title with a unanimous decision victory over Sakio Bika in 2014. He lost the title the next year via majority decision to Badou Jack. He would have to wait four years for another opportunity but successfully regained it with a technical split-decision over Avni Yildirim. He lost the title again, this time on a ninth-round TKO to David Benavidez in 2019. Dirrell is coming off of a fourth-round KO victory over Marcos Hernandez in his most recent match on November 6.

“I’m real excited to be back in the ring on October 15,” said Dirrell. “I’m especially excited to be fighting at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This is a special place for me. I fought Sakio Bika for a world title at this same venue, so I’m happy to be back. This fight means even more to me because it’s one day after my birthday, which is October 14. So I’m looking forward to giving the fans a great show, getting the big victory on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View and then celebrating it all after.”

Sanchez, Helenius, Anderson get victories on Fury-Wilder III

In the co-main event battle between two unbeaten heavyweights, Frank Sánchez (19-0, 13 KOs) scored one knockdown on his way to a comfortable, 10-round unanimous decision win over Efe Ajagba.

Sánchez used his superior boxing skills to keep the hard-hitting Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs) off-balance for the entire fight. The “Cuban Flash” displayed his power as well, flooring Ajagba with a hard right in the seventh. A follow-up left hook which landed a tick after Ajagba’s knee hit the canvas and caused referee Mike Ortega to warn Sanchez.

Ajagba made it to his feet and survived the round but never seriously threatened on his way to the first defeat of his career.

Robert Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) was even better against Adam Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) this time. In a rematch of their March 2020 slugfest, which Helenius won via fourth-round TKO, Helenius battered Kownacki throughout to induce a stoppage at 2:38 of the sixth round of their scheduled 12-round heavyweight encounter.

“It was good,” Helenius said of the ending. “Either way, it would have been a stoppage. I had a lot of good shots tonight and he didn’t have any.

“I expected [this win] because, what does he have? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good brawler, but I’ve been fighting brawlers for 20 years. I know how to deal with them, even if they are hitting me low or behind the head. That doesn’t bother me.”

Helenius used his height and length to box in the first, working the jab up and downstairs and briefly buckling Kownacki with a right toward the end of the stanza.

Kownacki came alive in the second and third, throwing punches in bunches, but earned a warning for two low blows that sank Helenius to his knees. The “Nordic Nightmare” took over from that point on, closing Kownacki’s left eye and bloodying his nose with thudding power shots.

The steady hammering continued until the sixth, when Kownacki landed another low blow. Referee Celestino Ruiz examined Kownacki as he warned him for the infraction and decided to halt the action.

“Right now, I want to go home to my family,” Helenius said. “I’ve been away from them for four weeks. Then we can worry about what’s next.”

Jared “Big Baby” Anderson (10-0, 10 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the heavyweight ranks, stopping veteran Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs) at 2:51 of the second round.

“I was a little anxious in the opening round,” Anderson said. “My first pay-per-view card and all that. But I settled in and gave a great performance. I practiced what my coaches preached. On to the next one.”

Anderson dominated from the opening bell, landing at will. In the second, a series of well-placed power shots drove Tereshkin toward the ropes where Anderson unloaded on his defenseless opponent until referee Kenny Bayless stepped in.

“I got great work in the gym with Tyson Fury. Iron sharpens iron,” Anderson said. “Shout out to Toledo, my home. I hope I made the fans back home proud.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions

Kownacki: ‘I’m going to show everyone that my last fight was an accident’

Polish star Adam Kownacki has revenge and redemption on his mind as he prepares for his rematch against Robert Helenius, which takes place on the ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV undercard (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) leading up to the highly anticipated Fury vs. Wilder III heavyweight trilogy showdown on Saturday, October 9 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“A win on October 9 puts me back on the map and would show that the last fight was just an accident,” said Kownacki. “I think that I got a little tired and tried to end the night early, so I rushed in and got caught. But being Brooklyn-born, when someone puts you on your ass, you want to show the kind of character you have, come back and beat them. I come from a hardworking community of mostly immigrants. So I don’t shy away from hard work or tough tests.”

The test in front of Kownacki is a second showdown against Finland’s Helenius, after Kownacki suffered his first career loss in March 2020 against Helenius. For this fight, Kownacki has made adjustments in training camp to help put him over the top when he faces Helenius again.

“Training has been going great,” said Kownacki. “I’ve been eating healthier and feeling a lot better. We’ve been working out of Bellmore Kickboxing Academy in New York and I’ve been sparring with Otto Walin and Brandon Lynch. We cut down sparring to two days a week, but we’re doing eight and 10-round sessions, so it’s been great work.

“With the rematch being postponed a few times, we’ve basically had three or four mini camps going all the way back to January. At this point, I just can’t wait to get back in the ring with Helenius.”

Kownacki’s rise up the heavyweight division coincided with him becoming a popular draw amongst the passionate Polish sports fans in his adopted hometown of Brooklyn. On October 9, Kownacki fights in Las Vegas for the first time in his career, and competes outside of Brooklyn for the first time in years. This change in venue is something that Kownacki is not only ready for, but could work to his advantage.

“I’m going to be ready for the bright lights for sure,” said Kownacki. “There actually might be less distractions for me in Las Vegas, compared to being in Brooklyn. I’m not looking to make any excuses, but my son was born just months before my last fight and there were lots of sleepless nights leading up to it. For this fight, my son will be staying back home with my wife. I’ll miss them, but I should be able to totally focus during fight week.”

Known for his aggressive and action-packed style, Kownacki does not plan to abandon that strategy that made him a fan-favorite, but he plans to be more prepared for what Helenius brings to the ring and fully-focused on showing the best version of his skills on October 9.

“Helenius is a good counter puncher and that’s what I got caught with,” said Kownacki. “I got reckless. Every fighter in this division can pack a punch. Everyone who’s seen me fight, knows that I come forward and try to destroy people. As always, this fight is going to be action packed. On October 9, I’m going to show everyone that my last fight was an accident and that I’m back to being my old self.”

Three heavyweight bouts added to Fury-Wilder III undercard

Four big heavyweight fights in one historic night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Three can’t-miss heavyweight showdowns have been added to the televised PPV undercard of the highly anticipated third fight between WBC and lineal heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder.

In the 10-round co-main event, 2016 Nigerian Olympian “The One and Only” Efe Ajagba will take on fellow unbeaten Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sánchez. The PPV telecast also includes the 12-round rematch between Finland’s Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius and Polish star Adam “Babyface” Kownacki, who was stopped by Helenius in the fourth round of their first bout in March 2020.

The eight-round PPV opener will see Toledo-born Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson step up in class against undefeated Russian contender Vladimir Tereshkin.

Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs) turned pro in July 2017 and soon established himself as one of the division’s fiercest one-punch knockout artists. He showed his mettle when he rose off the deck to knock out Iago Kiladze in December 2019, and three months later, he broke down and stopped former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu in the ninth round. He last fought in April in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and knocked out Brian Howard with a single right hand in the third round.

“I am honored to be fighting on the Fury-Wilder III PPV as the co-main event,” said Ajagba. “I have been patiently waiting for this opportunity to showcase my skills. My fans — and critics — can expect to see more jabs, head movement, footwork and power in both hands against Frank Sánchez. July 24 is going to be a special night for ‘The One and Only’ Efe Ajagba.”

An amateur standout from his native Cuba, Sánchez (18-0, 13 KOs) now trains in San Diego with coach Eddy Reynoso. The 28-year-old has stayed busy on his rise up the heavyweight rankings, scoring three victories in 2020 as he earned a unanimous decision over Joey Dawejko and stopped Brian Howard and Julian Fernandez. Sanchez most recently won a technical decision over Nagy Aguilera in May and will look for an important victory over the fellow unbeaten Ajagba that could catapult him up the heavyweight division.

“I am excited to make my case as the top heavyweight title contender on the best pay-per-view card of the year,” said Sánchez. “I look forward to fighting Efe Ajagba and coming out victorious. Boxing fans want to see the best fight the best. People say Efe Ajagba is avoided, and that’s exactly why I chose to fight him. Fans can expect a great fight between two undefeated heavyweights July 24.”

In just his second stateside outing, Helenius (30-3, 19 KOs) shocked the crowd at Barclays Center by handing Kownacki the first loss of his career via a fourth-round TKO. Born in Sweden and fighting out of Mariehamn, Finland, Helenius established himself as one of Europe’s top heavyweights and knocked out Erkan Teper in September 2018 to move up the rankings. Prior to dropping his U.S. debut to Gerald Washington in 2019, the 37-year-old had won six of his last seven fights, with his lone blemish coming against Dillian Whyte.

“I’m looking forward to repeating my first performance against Kownacki on July 24,” said Helenius. “Boxing fans can expect another incredible fight with my hand raised in victory once again. All of Finland will be behind me when I show the world why I am most deserving of a world title fight. My only goal is to be world champion and unfortunately for Adam he stands in my way.”

Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) will be seeking revenge for the first loss of his career when he rematches Helenius on July 24. The 31-year-old Kownacki, who was born in Lomza, Poland and moved to Brooklyn when he was seven, is noted for his tenacity and had been progressing towards a world title shot with knockouts in five of his last seven fights prior to the March 2020 defeat to Helenius. Kownacki owns victories over former world champion Charles Martin and former title challengers Gerald Washington and Chris Arreola. His August 2019 battle against Arreola set CompuBox records for heavyweights in combined power punches thrown and landed.

“I’m very excited to be back in the ring,” said Kownacki. “The pandemic made things hard for everyone, but things are getting back to normal. Being a part of an all-heavyweight pay-per-view like this feels great, and it’s a great thing for fans of our sport. This pay-per-view will be action-packed from top to bottom. I can’t wait to get my revenge against Robert Helenius. It’s been a long year waiting for the rematch, but I’ll be getting a victory on July 24. I feel like things will get back to normal and I will prove that I am one of the top heavyweights in the world.”

Anderson (9-0, 9 KOs) has not tasted the final bell as a professional, a dominant run that began with a first-round stoppage in his pro debut less than two years ago. He has five first-round knockouts and became the breakout star of the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, where he went 5-0. After closing out his Bubble run with a sixth-round knockout over Kingsley Ibeh, Anderson returned April 10 with a second-round blitzing of Jeremiah Karpency. Anderson was Fury’s primary sparring partner for the Wilder rematch and will serve in the same capacity for the trilogy bout. Tereshkin (22-0-1, 12 KOs) a 6’6 southpaw, is a 14-year professional who has won 14 consecutive fights since the lone draw on his ledger.

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