In today’s day and age, it is easy for fans to write a boxer off after just one loss. For Adam Kownacki, he is looking to change that narrative one step at a time.
Kownacki (20-1) lost his first professional bout inside the Barclays Center to Robert Helenius at the beginning of March. One of the last major events to take place before the coronavirus pandemic, it was a big shock to those in Brooklyn who were expecting Kownacki to become a mandatory heavyweight title challenger. Speaking to Ray Flores on PBC’s Time Out show, Kownacki talked about the loss for the first time, stating how everything changed.
“It’s been tough,” Kownacki said. “My first loss, ranked top five, all those aspirations, and all of a sudden you lose, especially to a huge underdog. There was a lot going on, a lot of mistakes on my part, but then Robert caught me with a good shot. It is a new situation for me, being hurt, and not knowing how to recoup from that. Instead of taking a step backwards trying to move around I went back forward… the next three shots hurt, and then he put me on my behind.
“I got up, but he came with a lot of shots and the referee stopped the fight. It was definitely a learning experience.”
During his fight with Kownacki, Helenius (30-3) gave it his all in the second to actually make it competitive. He started tagging Kownacki in the third, and in the fourth round he knocked Kownacki to the floor. Kownacki claims it was a slip, but a replay can see he was brought down. A barrage of punches later and the referee called the fight off.
Regarding the slip and the early decision by the referee, many are calling it controversial. Kownacki believes he almost had Helenius right where he wanted him. At the end of the day, however, he had to listen to the referee’s call.
“That’s why we have the ref’s there, right? Obviously not,” Kownacki stated in regards to if he agreed with the decision. “If I lose I want to make sure I’m on my back and I”m not able to continue. But that’s why the ref’s are there, that’s why we have commissions, to look out for our best interests. I wish I could have continued because I feel like Robert was very, very tired. That’s why I attacked him so hard in the beginning of the round, knowing I almost had him out of there. It’s boxing, it’s the heavyweight division and one shot changed everything.”
Prior to the loss, Kownacki won four times since the start of 2018. This was his second time headlining the Barclays Center and his tenth time fighting inside there. He is very interested in a rematch, even if Helenius stated Kownacki may not be. There is no rematch clause in the contract of the fight.
“It’s boxing. Your whole career is based off of your last fight,” Kownacki stated. “All I have to do is come back stronger, look amazing in my next fight, and that’s what I plan on doing. I’ve been training; I have a little gym at home. I’ve been in shape, staying focused and I’ll make sure I show the world what happened that night was a mistake and it will never happen again.
“I would love a rematch… Whatever happens, happens.”