WBA #7 heavyweight Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (30-3, 19 KOs) scored a spectacular fourth round TKO over previously unbeaten IBF #3, WBO #3, WBA #4, WBC #6 Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) in a WBA title eliminator on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
An all-out slugfest erupted with both fighters taking punishment in round two. Kownacki did more in round three although Helenius had some moments near the end of the round. In round four, Helenius dropped Kownacki with a short right hand (ruled a slip). Helenius then pounced on the reeling Kownacki and dropped him with a barrage of punches. Kownacki beat the count, but Helenius finished him with a vicious follow-up assault, prompting a referee’s stoppage at 1:08.
Kownacki was a 40:1 favorite entering the bout. Helenius backers will get a nice 20:1 payout at some sportsbooks.
“I knew that I hit him hard and I knew I just had to continue,” said Helenius. “I knew he was still hurt after that punch. Kownacki just kept coming and coming. He’s a good fighter I have to give it to him. My strength is to punch back when people come at me. It was a good fight and a tremendous opportunity for me to be here.”
“It wasn’t my night,” said Kownacki. “It’s boxing. It’s a tough sport and things just didn’t go my way tonight. It was a learning experience and I’m going to go back to the drawing board and get back to work. He hit me with a good shot. I knew what was going on, but I’m just upset with myself. It is what it is.”