Kownacki aiming for revenge against Helenius

Photo: Adam Kownacki Instagram

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.

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  • Interesting. He could not take Helenius’s power then so, I wonder, how he will be able to take it now.

    • Yes, he’s got a chin issue, which with his style is a big issue.
      It’ll make his fight more interesting to watch tho I guess.

  • I think Kownacki will win the rematch but unless he’s completely changed his style I cant see him going to far in the division. Once Helenius had him hurt Kownacki had no idea how to defend or even tie up, he tried to just walk through him.

  • Interesting i didn’t know we had a champ that was 6′ 11″ but maybe with all the bogus belts out there i could just be wrong….just another overhyped prospect who will be a journeyman soon

    • I was going to write the same thing! What 6”11″ champ is he talking about?…I guess it’s just the picture, but Kownacki looks a lot lighter.

      • Now we’re splitting hairs, but Fury is listed as 6′-9″. Maybe something was lost in the metric conversion. 15 years ago 7′-0″ Nicoloai Valuev was the champ!

        • I’m sure A-Kow was being sarcastic. Valuev was 7′ 2″. But he just meant that most heavyweight champs now-a-days usually have some height to them.

          • Right on Heavy! Back in the day, most heavyweights were 6′-3″, if a fighter was 6′-5″, he was a giant. ever since the Klitsko’s came around, heavyweights kept getting taller and taller. I think Valuev was “only” 7′-0″ though. That Julious Long guy was 7′-2″, but at that point, who’s counting?

  • Kownacki made a terrible mistake against Helenius by relying too much on his “chin” than head movement and body mechanics for defense. However, after looking over his past fights, this is a long-term-developed habit and his trainers should have fixed the issue a long time ago. That fault costed him his first defeat. Hopefully he learns from this and improves his record. In the photo, he appears thinner and more focused. Hopefully, he is not getting too thin where he suffers power loss and becomes more fragile in taking a punch.

  • Kownacki-Helenius 2 who cares??
    whats next? Kownacki-Chris Arreola 2
    it seems there is NO chance this guy will get into world class athlete condition/shape? so no chance of us finding out his best. or of him being a top fighter.

  • helinuis will win again he tough trains hard knows how to finish he should get a title shot somewhere down the line

  • kownacki remember me rocky 3 movie….rocky got a new style he blocks the shots he s own head..

  • Belt Rankings are a joke. Kownacki is rated #7 in the WBA. Kownacki i believe was rated in the top 10 before his loss in a couple of different alphabet ratings. Helenius is ranked in no ones top 15. Before commenting that Helenius doesn’t deserve to be ranked just look at some of the names that are…

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