By Przemek Garczarczyk
“Even my manager (Keith Connolly) suggested that maybe I need someone different before we can fight again. My thinking ‘if I cannot beat Robert Helenius, how could I believe that I can challenge champions like Joshua or Fury?’ Before Robert knocked me on my ass, I won every round,” – heavyweight Adam Kownacki (20-1, 15 KO) talks about his upcoming rematch with Robert Helenius (30-3, 19 KO), his new training camp and new motivation: his son Kaziu.
Getting ready for another training day, what’s your schedule for today?
Did cardio this morning, like I do every day, for several weeks already. Then boxing training, short break, and training again. Three times a day, to be ready for the Robert (Helenius) rematch. To prove that what happened a year ago in Barclays Center was just a just moment of weakness.
Before we talk about that, after you posted training pictures on Instagram, some of the fans who criticized you for being too heavy in the March 2020 Helenius fight are now saying that you’re too skinny…
Right now I’m about 260+, like I was then but we have still some weeks to go, so it’s fine. I will probably lose ten extra pounds. Going down, with so much work is easy. I feel great already, sparring 10 rounds – no problem.
Some are saying that you were at your best weight when you knocked out Artur Szpilka, almost four years ago. Agree/disagree?
I was lighter but Szpilka was also light, smaller – a different fighter than the big 6’11 big and strong champs we have now, so I needed extra speed. Now I need extra pounds to not give Robert a chance to push me around. When it comes to weight, most important is to have solid, strong weight – not fat. We’re working on it.
Did you and trainer Keith Trimble need any changes after your first professional defeat vs. Helenius?
It all started with me. I needed a break, some privacy, a mental assessment where I am, where I want to go. I bought property in Hunter, NY, two hours away from New York. I moved my training camp there. After I worked by myself, running, heavy bag, all that. We vanished with Keith for three weeks. Lots of sparring time, three times a week, running.
Keith is an under-appreciated boxing trainer – he knows a lot. We work on fundamentals, have a lot of time to train and just talk about what I do wrong or right. Basically for the first time, because it was hard to do that when we were working at his gym. I have a feeling that it will change a lot. It worked for everyone. Keith could go back home for the weekend, my wife Justyna and my son, 18-month old Kaziu were coming to visit. I would not say weekend was a day or two of doing nothing – “Kaz” is an acrobat, unstoppable! It’s unreal how much happiness and new energy this young man can give me.
From the start, you wanted an immediate rematch with Helenius. A rematch against the first fighter who stopped you – no easy tune-up bouts.
True. Even my manager (Keith Connolly) suggested that maybe I need someone different before we can fight again. My thinking – if I can’t beat Robert Helenius, how could I believe that I can challenge champions like Joshua or Fury? Before he knocked me on my ass, I won every round. Helenius is a smart fighter, a boxing veteran and I just wanted to slug with him after being down…this is my character, another lesson learned. I didn’t want to waste another year. I wanted to be where I was before the first fight with Robert – being a title contender.
There are several reports that you will be back on March 6 – could you confirm that?
I doubt our fight will happen on March 6, but this is boxing. It’s a cliche, but all I can control is to be 100 percent ready when Kownacki-Helenius 2 will be announced officially. I trust Al Haymon who helped me from the beginning of my career and when I said ‘I want to fight Helenius again,’ he delivered. I’m ready, another set of sparring sessions for this week is scheduled (against Otto Wallin). I’m ready to vanish again with my trainer in the Catskills, finish our camp and be victorious in the ring again.