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
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
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.”
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