Throwback Throwdown: Kownacki’s Statement-Making Win Over Gerald Washington

Some call Adam Kownacki the king of Brooklyn. A fighter with immense power, Kownacki has slowly become a threat in boxing’s heavyweight division. His progression would continue when he faced another big-time opponent in Gerald Washington. 29 at the time of his fight against Washington, Kownacki had the attention of many, including then-WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, who was int he crowd.

Prior to his bout against Robert Helenius this weekend, take a look at how he got to this fight. On the latest Throwback Throwdown, FIGHT SPORTS opens the vault and reviews Adam Kownacki’s dominant TKO-win over veteran Gerald Washington to start 2019.

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. You can watch the fight (if you are in the Nordic region) by going to fightsportsmax.tv/fi/.

The Setup

Kownacki (20-0) was competing in his 19th fight at the time. It was also his eighth time fighting inside the Barclays Center, as he started his run there in 2015. Making his pro debut in 2009, Kownacki was just starting to face major competition. He beat former title contender Artur Szpilka via TKO in 2017 and former WBA Inter-Continental Cruiserweight Champion Iago Kiladze via KO. A huge step in his progression was facing Charles Martin in September 2018, beating the former IBF Heavyweight Champion.

The fight against Kownacki was supposed to be a big step in the right direction for Washington (20-4-1). The 37-year-old was coming off of a unanimous decision win over John Wesley Nofire. It was a major rebound following two losses in a row to then-WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder and Jarrell Miller.

The (Literal) Hook

As we have seen with previous Kownacki fights, “Babyface” goes in on the attack right away. Kownacki hit lefts and rights that could be heard from the nosebleeds, while Washington was throwing a few of his won. The announcers were calling his shots sledgehammers. Throughout the contest, Kownacki was in the clinch and hitting close, hard shots to the body and face of Washington. He ended up hitting overhand rights, while also using solid head movement. While his defense wasn’t as productive, his shots were helping his cause. The fight almost ended in the first when Kownacki landed rights to the body and face that shook Wahsington. Hard rights continued to pour down and Washington was up against the ropes with ten seconds left.

Kownacki ended up getting a cut above his eye after the first, but that was the only damage he sustained in the fight. Prior to round two, Kownacki was told to follow up on the hook he was throwing and continue with the jabs. One would say he listened.

Kownacki hit a sharp right to the body and face of Washington. He then literally chased him around the ring, hitting a right that knocked him down with 2:24 left in the second. The referee, who told Washington to show him something before calling it off, ended up stopping the bout once Kownacki hit two big shots to the body and face that staggered Washington. It was Kownacki’s eighth win inside the Barclays Center.

The Post-Match Breakdown

According to CompuBox, Kownacki landed 58 punches on 141 attempts, while Washington only landed 18 on 86. Kownacki had over 49 power punches and 9 jabs. The fight was one-sided to the eyes of one judge, who gave the first round a 10-8 score.

Kownacki ended up announcing he was going to be a dad to the Barclays Center crowd. Speaking with FIGHT SPORTS, Kownacki reflected on the fight and how it felt to share multiple moments with his Brooklyn family.

Following the bout, Kownacki beat Chris Arreola to become the IBF Inter-Continental Heavyweight Champion. It was a huge fight for Kownacki, as it secured himself as a contender against another former title contender. The fight ended up breaking the CompuBox record for the most combined punches thrown (2,172) and landed (668) in a heavyweight fight. After time away, Kownacki is set on facing Robert Helenius for a shot at the WBA World Title.

Since the fight, Washington has gone 1-1. He survived Helenius by knocking him out in the eighth round of their July fight. That brought him back to prominence, if only for a moment. Washington then lost to Charles Martin this past February in an IBF Heavyweight Title eliminator. Facing Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight Title back in 2017, Washington is hoping for an opportunity to redeem himself this year.

The Verdict 

Kownacki has managed to prove that he can take on world killers and title contenders. At 30, Kownacki has gained the respect of a number of boxing personnel and fighters. It just so happens that Washington was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now, he faces another big test in Helenius. Inside the Barclays Center once again, can the hometown favorite fulfill his destiny, or will “The Nordic Nightmare” crush his dreams of championship glory?

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