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Humble and Likable Kownacki Could See Profile Rise Hard With Win Saturday on FOX

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On Wednesday night, I did a podcast hit, on the phone, with Big Fight Weekend podcast host TJ Rives.

Rives asked me, am I pumped for that Adam Kownacki vs Chris Arreola heavyweight showdown at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday, August. 3?

Indeed I am, I answered, and here’s a very primary reason why.

“I like Adam Kownacki,” I told the host.

Yes, I admitted, since I am not a robot and my emotions seep into my work, I do find myself caring more about the fights involving the people I’ve gotten to know a little bit, and like.

Yes, I know, one is supposed to just be removed from the feelings, and cover the stories and the events without allowing emotion to seep in.

But, shhh, little secret, most reporters are not robots, not just yet, and thus, personal feelings do indeed seep into coverage.

This preamble has a point; Kownacki, age 30, is a 19-0 fighter signed to Al Haymon and PBC. Maybe 2,000 or so mostly raucous Poles will attend the Saturday card, and root on Kownacki, who was born in Poland and moved with family to Brooklyn when he was 7.

And should he beat the 38 year old Arreola, who is saying he will retire if he doesn’t win Saturday–listen to him make this promise on the “Talkbox” podcast— then the Pole is a step closer to a title fight. And, I think, his profile will edge up a notch, and, indeed, he could really emerge as a wider fan favorite to the masses in the next year.

Kownacki comes off as everyman, as a decent, unassuming and humble dude, and yes, I think that could catch on more widely as he steps up competition. Not to mention, he is a FIGHTER, and his fighting style is easy to decipher and admire, for regular Joes and Janes.

Note: These mitts will be in Arreola’s face come Saturday. Gloves made by Everlast

I chatted with AK on Wednesday night, and picked it up Thursday morning.

You good, big man? Is that baby coming soon?

“I’m great,” he said. “Yeah, just have some business to take care of before that!”

8-29. That’s the due date for the missus and the fighter, as they count down to their first baby’s arrival.

I admitted something to the Pole…that I just used the fingers on my hands to count up to “8” months. Lord, a grown man, born in 1969, counting on his hands.

“You are a young man,” replied the boxer, scoring a point for charm.

“Don’t you bullshit me now, Kownacki. YOU are young. I am what I am,” I responded, with LOL lightness.

We shifted gears…So, how many Poles will be in the red and white and pushing you to victory at Barclays?

“A lot. Definitely over 2,000,” said the fighter, who last gloved up in January, when he beat Gerald Washington at Barclays, where AK has fought 8 times.

Circling back to Kownacki’s temperment, and likeability. He told me he ran into Arreola on Wednesday. There was a media workout at the famed and fabled Gleason’s Gym, in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

“I ran into Chris yesterday,” AK said, referring to the Gleason’s workout. “It went good. Very respectable.”

Mutual respect, sounds like.

“Yes,” the Pole said.

By now you get it, this won’t be the kind of guy who willfully stirs the pot, and says stuff to stay relevant. Old school style…

We are two days away, so I wondered: does Kownacki feel MORE butterflies now, because he is the main event, then before other fights?

“Not really, I’m more nervous with the TV interviews,” he admitted.

Kownacki speaks to press July 31 at Gleason's Gym. Pic by Stephanie Trapp.

Kownacki speaks to press July 31 at Gleason’s Gym. Pic by Stephanie Trapp.

And guess what, he does just fine with those. (You can see me interviewing him, when he came to Everlast to do the podcast.) Here is his podcast hit, too.

His nerves, that’s part of his charm. He’s a throwback type of character, in a world which increasingly awards the shit-stirrers. Me, I can appreciate that…and yes, I am not afraid to tell you, I more and more appreciate the Kownackis of the world.

Watch Kownacki versus Arreola, and Kownacki on FOX PBC Fight Night on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday. The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. ET and feature sunbeaten interim WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Marcus Browne battling former world champion Jean Pascal in a 12-round bout, plus Brooklyn’s Curtis Stevens makes his 154-pound debut against Wale Omotoso in a 10-round fight.

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About Michael Woods

Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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