Adam Kownacki headlines at Barclays Center for the second time on Saturday, March 7, and this foe might be an easier out than the first dude he handled as the featured pugilist in Brooklyn.
You might recall that Kownacki (20-0, 15 KO) had his hand raised in the borough of kings after 12 rounds of rumbling with Chris Arreola. That was a good “seasoning” fight, with the Polish-born Long Island resident going 12 for the first time. The 30-year-old is slated for 12 or less against Robert Helenius, a 36-year-old Swede. Many pundits are thinking the “or less” will be in play come Saturday. Does Kownacki?
“We will find out in six days,” Kownacki told Bad Left Hook. “I trained hard for this fight. I feel good, and cannot wait to get in the ring!”
“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 in a release sent out by the event promoters. “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.”
Now, if he had been sparring Deontay Wilder and holding his own, then maybe there’d be a real story stemming from his camp. His most recent conquest came over Mateus Roberto Osorio in November. That came after an unsuccessful U.S. debut in July, which saw him get stopped by Gerald Washington; the same Gerald Washington who one fight before had been stopped by, you guessed it, Adam Kownacki.
Osorio is 35, holds a 9-5 mark, has been stopped five times, and is in the “Nickname’s Gotta Go” Club. They call him “Tsunami.” Helenius could call him “easy work.” And two or more full steps down from Kownacki.
The Swede-Finn insists he’s still learning nuances of the game at 36.
“In the Washington fight, I relaxed in the later rounds. 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.”
He then gave his assessment of the Polish-American’s skill set. “Adam is a heavy brawler and a good fighter, but his boxing skills are not that strong. 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.”
Over to Kownacki. I wondered about his mindset, six days before the collision. Does he expect to stop Helenius? The target, straight and tall, that I saw him offering to Washington, should look tempting to Kownacki.
Rust, we suppose, could be an issue versus Helenius. AK hurled the kitchen sink — and the bathroom one, too — at Arreola, though, so even if the heavyweight thisclose to a title crack isn’t as busy, we think he will still be able to either stop or out-work Helenius.
Can Kownacki be better, busier than he was against Arreola?
“Hopefully I won’t have to (be busier), and I will finish him early,” he said.
Right, you get paid the same for one or 12 rounds of work.
“Wish it was that easy, as a snap of fingers,” Kownacki said. “But yes, I put in a lot of rounds sparring so I should be good!”