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Helenius stops Kownacki in huge upset

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.

Lr Tgb Fight Night Kownacki Vs Helenius Trappfotos 03072020 7081
Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

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.”

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    • This was not an upset anybody who follows or know anything or watched this guy knows he was ready for this guy who is pretty finished himself
      Areola was just to gone and he still had a bloodbath with him trying to rush this guy to a title fight was wrong for his handlers and management try his wanted the international dollars and now have probably ended his career
      I understand building a guy but you better know what he is capable of before this
      No way this fight should have taken place now

      • They probably figured Helenius was finished and would be a nice name on the ole resume. Nordic Nightmare had other plans. Didn’t Washington KO Helenius? He’s nothing special either and Adam obliterated him. They thought tonight would be the same thing. If they rematch Adam wins, I’m pretty sure he was on his way to a stoppage anyways. Great fight!

    • Both men made so many tactical errors in the fight, but it was action-packed to say the least. Kownacki’s lack of defense when he got too confident was the big error on his part that upset the apple cart. Helenius’ balance and robotic-like movements were terrible, but he managed to land a nice power shot that led the fight in his favor. Kownacki can make a comeback. One loss is not the end of the world for his career. Sometimes losing can make one a better fighter later down the road as mistakes are about learning.

  • Kownacki is finished, he gets hits too clean too often to last.

    Hopefully he’ll retire while he still has some of his marbles.

      • Ya, he is finished because slow Kielbasa Kid never got started.. 50 lbs overweight, not quick or athletic, and absorbs lots of shots , even when he wins… shelf life is up

    • Also, Frank Sanchez is a joke! I was falling asleep during his boring ass fight. He should have knocked that dude out and not once did he even try. Instead he danced around and slapped like he was fighting a 10 round amateur fight.

    • His wife didn’t seem to take the loss well either. I only mention it because she’ll be a huge factor in whether he continues his boxing career. Adam will need to leave NYC if he wants to rebuild.

  • While nobody would think it would have been Helenius the truth is Kownacki had a pretty serious flaw. If hurt there’s no going backward. It’s easy to make lower tier guys miss you coming in. Often they panic and don’t know how to handle it.

    Helenius had one wrinkle about his game. Even as limited as he is he knew how to drop guys coming in with the right hand. That’s the shot that stopped Kownacki ultimately. One that I like all the top heavyweights to stop Kownacki with. I like Kownacki to beat all the B-list guys who are hanging around the division who might panic and have no game when Kownacki steps inside their guard. Anyone else though with size and/or power he’s going to struggle against.

  • Kownacki was a bit overconfident and looked reckless. Was happy for Helenius though. He has had these losses himself but kept plugging away. Glad he got a decent win for his career. Should get a money fight soon.

  • Kownacki was winded in the 1st round carrying 20 to 30lbs more than he should of lost millions coming in at 265lbs!!!!

    • Technically, what I like about boxing is we all have a 50/50 shot at guessing or technically calling who will win. It’s not like horse or dog racing where there is a huge list of candidates and odds are spread too far. I had a college room mate back in the late 1980’s who never watched boxing. However, he would literally guess (for fun) who would was going to win on HBO and Showtime the night before and he was 90% spot-on. Luck? Yep, but he was a great guesser.

    • He’s a nobody, going no where. He’s not even close to the real deal, won’t fight a live body for another 7 years.

    • Ajagba needs to work on head and lateral movement. In addition, he tends to get very predictable with his punches at times. He has time to grow, but hopefully he improves as time progresses.

  • Well, at least the waters are getting clear now. Some other hype jobs are there waiting to be deflated like cheap tire. Kownacki is a very nice kid, but as a boxer he is extremely limited. Had a very lucky run, but unfortunately he has been exposed by an ordinary pedestrian worker of the ring

  • Wow! Wow is all I can say. Love Helenius but no way in hell I thought this could happen! The beauty of boxing!

    • I believe nor even Helenius thought about a win like this.But is not a huge upset. I was more astonishe with the win of Jeison Rosario over Julian Williams.

  • Never saw this one! Kownacki getting blown away so early. Hellenius looked scared and would have given up hope after 5 or 6 rounds. Kowancki just was not respecting Hellenius power and does not protect his chin. Hellenius was slower, less agressive and did much holding . Kownacki was not bulling on the inside like he should and Hellenius landed the big bomb first. AJ will KO Hellenius in 2 or 3 rounds

  • Any true boxing fans knows Adam was going to get knocked out sooner or later… he is a fan friendly fighter that is it.

  • Reminds me of Dave Allen, albeit at a higher level. Likable, limited, poor conditioning, and gets hit way too often. Not the foundation for a long career… the last 3 parts anyway. Get up early and run. Every. Dam. Day.

  • I said earlier that the odds were ridiculous. Kownacki has talent, but he can’t beat higher-end guys without training. Ruiz beating AJ was the worst thing to happen to lazy fighters, because it made them think they could loaf away their careers and just rise u on fight night. That’s not the real world. Top guys needs to be 24/7/365 fingers, and that means rigorous training and nutrition.

  • 40/1 seemed a bit much to me. It just goes to show that when a fighter is up for it he becomes a different man. I saw RH vs Whyte (I think) and he was so negative

  • The same thing happened to Erkan Teper.He was going after Helenius until he got countered and good night.
    It was only question when it’s going to happen to Kownacki.

  • I don’t know how much of an upset this is considering the Nordic fighters good fight shape. Kownacki simply lost the plot in his game plan and forgot the cardinal rule in boxing. Never follow a puncher around. Helenius may have found something in his career to continue on and get one last payday, but he will never be a world champion because he doesn’t have the mentality for it. Adam will never be a world champion because he doesn’t have the discipline for it.

    • I saw Kownacki’s belly at the weight in as something suspicious of a poor conditioning. I thought for a moment ” well, I have seen that in other fat kids, maybe he is like that” but seems he was grossly out of shape and with out an adequate game omplan.

  • At the Very least, the Stay puff marshmallow man Needs to get get in some shape.
    Good job for Hellenius. Came to fight snd IN Shape

  • Kownacki depends on his aggressiveness and punch output for defense. Helenius was taking a beating, but he was also hitting Kownacki cleanly when he did punch. All he needed was one right hand and the fight was basically over. Kownacki was dropped initially (called a slip) but looked hurt when he got up. Helenius didn’t let him off the hook and finished him.

    It was an upset because of the odds established before the fight. However, Helenius hits really hard with that right hand and is always a threat to score a KO, especially when the opponent is walking in without regard to defense.

    Back to the drawing board for Kownacki. He’s good enough to overwhelm most of the B-level heavyweights, but he can’t really deal with the better heavyweights in the division. He needs to be carefully matched henceforth. I see his future as a fringe contender but no higher.

  • Like Roy Foreman commented, if you have ever spent serious time with a top-flight trainer, you will understand that the defensive aspects of boxing are the most difficult to master. Floyd Mayweather Sr. said it best, “There is no % in taking head blows.” That is why his son Floyd Jr. prospered as well as other masters like Crawford and Russell Jr. You can’t help but root for a guy like Adam Kownacki, but he will have to make major defensive improvements or his long-term health could suffer.

  • There’s nothing cooler in boxing than a huge upset to rock the apple cart! It’s impossible to rank the heavyweight division!

  • In the history of the sport, these are two pathetic, mediocre fighters. Helenius looks like yet another slug, sporting that tired, ugly unabomber beard. He looks about as athletic as a drunken 78 year old lumberjack. Kownacki looked even worse. Two slugs, shuffling around with wet noodle arms. Gruesome. What will happen after this fight? Who cares? Who do they fight next? Who cares? This looked like something akin to a Toughman contest match, not a legitimate bout showcasing the Sweet Science.

  • The Truth is, Helenius was simply to big of a man for Kownacki. The Nightmare no matter what anyone had to say can hit, and he was hitting Adam. Both men came into this fight wanting to get a big fight, well Helenius will get that fight. Is he a great fighter? NO!!! But he is a fighter that is a big strong man, and if he hits you, he can hurt you, that was exactly what this fight was about. Robert knew when to jump on his opponent and that is all she wrote. Good win for Helenius maybe some road work and some proper eating will work wonders for Kownacki, anyway good fan friendly fight. BTW this Sanchez could put anyone to sleep with his boring style, this is the 3rd time I’ve seen him fight, and I will not watch him again, EXCEPT if I cannot fall asleep. What a BORE.

  • NEVER SAW THAT ONE COMING!!! Holy SPIRIT!!!! kownacki isn’t jacked like Joshua but he was on a good run. Helenius seemed a bit weathered and looks scared in his face in fights.. Kinda have to rethink Helenius and kownacki maybe.. On another note, I love how Ajagba is coming along! He’s improving and showing more skill set in each fight and I really like how humble he is. Frank sanchez…. Hmmm.. I gotta see more of him before I can say anything either way. He definitely has skill.

  • Anyone who loves rock ’em sock ’em robot boxing loves this match.. But not the type of fight for health or brain preservation later on. Fan friendly it was.

  • In other news……Fres Oquendo hasn’t fought in almost 6 years…..How is raked in the Top 15 by the WBC ??….

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