Over the past three years, boxing’s heavyweight division has seen a true resurgence. It is the talk of the town, something that hasn’t been said in a long time. Yes, there are the Anthony Joshua’s of the world, as well as Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. However, the division has grown to feature some solid talent.
This year alone, several heavyweight fights can determine the future of the division. The rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury started it. Now, another fight will look to change the way we look at big punchers. With a shot at Joshua’ WBA Title on the line, a battle between the young guard and a veteran looking to achieve his dream will look to shake the roof off of the Barclays Center.
On the latest “Why Should I Care“, FIGHT SPORTS looks into the heavyweight fight this weekend featuring Adam Kownacki and Robert Helenius. The bout will take place in Brooklyn on March 7, March 8 for those in the Nordic region.
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/.
Some will say that this is finally Kownacki’s (20-0) time to prove that he belongs with boxing’s best. The Polish star has made the Barclays Center his home for years, giving him a true home-field advantage.
“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 became a fan-favorite due to his power; 15 wins via knockout. The competition has increased for “Babyface” over the years, and his skills continue to improve. In his last fight against Chris Arreola back in August, the two broke the CompuBox record for the most combined punches thrown (2,172) and landed (668) in a heavyweight fight.
Kownacki believes he has an advantage over Helenius. He will look to expose Helenius’ greatest asset and turn it against him.
“His jab is the main thing I’m focused on,” Kownacki stated. “If I can get past his jab, I think I’m going to have a lot of success. When I get inside, I’m going to punish him and If I get the chance, I’ll be ready to end the fight.”
At 36, Robert Helenius has shown he is ready to rise to the occasion. The former European Heavyweight Champion started his career 22-0 before losing to Johann Duhaupas back in 2016. Since then, “The Nordic Nightmare” is 7-2 in his last eight fights.
Helenius entered the United States two weeks before fight week to prepare. He trained inside Deontay Wilder’s gym in his home area of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The pride of the Finnish people, Helenius believes he can solve the mystery that is Kownacki.
“I have to stick and move,” Helenius stated to FIGHT SPORTS. “Of course, you can go in and brawl with him, but because he is shorter and heavier than me that’s stupid,” Helenius went on to say. “He is just going to wear me down If I’m going to go and brawl with him. I could do that. My best skill is to use my boxing. I have good technique. I’m going to use my technique and my boxing skills to outbox him.
“I’m prepared to go 12 rounds with Kownacki, but you never know, boxing is kind of funny like that. One shot can end a fight, so, I don’t know.”
Helenius was almost close to a title eliminator fight, as he faced Gerald Washington back in July. He lost to him via knockout after making a small mistake. Washington ended up losing an IBF World Title eliminator bout to Chris Martin a few weeks ago. It is a case of what could have been. Accepting and looking past the loss, Helenius ended up knocking out Mateus Roberto Osorio in the second round in November. His error from the Washington fight won’t matter if he takes down the favorite in Kownacki.
Helenius has 18 wins via knockout. If you think he is afraid of Kownacki’s tough shots, think again.
“I think the punching power is not as high as mine,” Helenius stated. “He has more volume; he’s destroying opponents by doing more volume than the opponent is doing. The Arreola fight was pretty close as well. Arreola in the end rounds, he was a little more dominating. Kownacki throws a lot of punches and I think that can be effective as a strong puncher.”
Looking to become one of the top champions to come out of Finland, Helenius can shock the world, something that has become a theme in the boxing world recently. He certainly has the confidence to back it up.
“Kownacki has never lost, so this is going to be a new experience for him,” said Helenius.
The main card of the Kownacki v. Helenius fight begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m PT.