Having compiled an impressive 20-0 resumé in the heavyweight division, it seemed possible that Adam Kownacki was heading for a world title fight with either Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury.
The Pole has lived in New York for more than two decades, has defeated the likes of former champ Charles Martin, former contender Gerald Washington, and Chris Arreola. He could certainly be regarded as one of the finest heavyweights of the modern-day without gold around their waist.
And then, well, the saying ‘best-laid plans of mice and men’ springs to mind.
Kownacki took on former European champion Robert Helenius at the Barclays Center on his eighth trip to the New York venue in his last nine outings.
Most were expecting the 32-year-old to continue his unbeaten run on ‘home’ soil, but Helenius came out from the first bell throwing bombs and, after a series of heavy hands connected, Kownacki was stopped in the fourth round with no answer to the Finn’s power.
It was the first professional loss for the adopted New Yorker and a pretty heavy one at that.
Following 18 months out of the ring, Kownacki was finally return in October on the undercard of the Fury and Deontay Wilder trilogy fight in Las Vegas. His opponent? None other than his last foe, Helenius.
The sportsbooks made the Pole their warm favorite at -275 to win in the Kownacki vs Helenius boxing betting odds, so the real question at this point was, can he shake off the ring rust and get his career back on track in Sin City?
Slim and Streamlined
One of the main critiques of Kownacki from that first fight with his nemesis was that he tipped the scales a little too heavily.
Weighing in at 265lbs, he was considered to be pretty stocky for a guy that stands at 6-feet-3 inches, and although he has had success at a similar weight before, Kownacki is planning on slimming right down for the rematch, whenever it’s placed following the Fury COVID positive and event scrapping.
He packed his training gear and headed off to Florida for a training camp with Keith Trimble, in hopes that the extreme heat in the Sunshine State would help him to trim down closer to the 255lb mark.
“I’ve definitely focused more on the weight,” the New Yorker told Boxing Scene. “I’ll make sure with this camp, I’ll be where I have to be, where I can focus on putting the right food in my body, not worrying about what the scale says.”
Kownacki’s weight has fluctuated markedly throughout his career, for instance, at under 260lb he defeated Washington and he weighed a sprightly 242lb when he stopped the dangerous Artur Szpilka back in 2017.
At 32 years old, it shouldn’t in theory be too hard for Kownacki to keep the weight off, and he will need to be mindful of the fact that Helenius – who stands at a mighty 6-feet-7 inches – will weigh in at around 250lb.
He can’t afford to give away reach and speed advantage, so the hope for his rooters was that the Pole would put down the bagels and trim down in Florida.
His reward could be a fight against the likes of Andy Ruiz Jr or Luis Ortiz further down the line, and then in the future, perhaps he will finally get his chance to challenge for the heavyweight division’s major gold.