Headlining the Barclays Center for the second time in his career, Adam Konacki will be fighting not just for a win, but a title opportunity. The 30-year-old Polish star will be fighting Robert Helenius on March 7 in a WBA Title eliminator bout. Only one can walk out the true contender.
“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 during training camp. “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.”
Kownacki (20-0) will be fighting inside the Barclays Center for the fifth consecutive fight. Last time out, “Babyface” beat Chris Arreola in August for the IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight Title. It was a fight in which the record for hardest punches was broken, and may never be reached again. With 15 wins via knockout, Kownacki’s power is dangerous.
Even with his skills, Kownacki is not taking his opponent lightly. Helenius (29-3) is a former European Heavyweight Champion and has 18 wins via knockout. While Kownacki’s previous opponents are around six-feet-five-inches, that is nothing compared to Helenius who is six-feet-seven-inches. Regarding “The Nordic Nightmare”, Kownacki is training harder than before.
“Helenius is a totally different opponent than Arreola,” Kownacki continued. “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.”
Since leaving Team Sauerland in 2013, Helenius is 10-3. The Finnish star believes Kownacki will feel his wrath. There is a lot of motivation there, as Helenius’ three-fight win streak came to an end against Gerald Washington, who fought Chris Martin in a title eliminator bout. Now, with another shot, Helenius is extremely motivated. Nobody understands that more than Kownacki.
“Helenius is going to come in with the mindset as if I’m a world champion,” Kownacki stated. “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.”
FIGHT SPORTS has secured the NORDIC broadcasting rights to Kownacki v. Helenius on FIGHT SPORTS MAX. The area is one of 40 countries FIGHT SPORTS has the rights for, including the MENA region.