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Kownacki defeats Arreola in slugfest

By Przemek Garczarczyk at ringside
Photos: Emily Harney

Unbeaten heavyweight contender Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) won an entertaining twelve round brawl against former title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (38-6-1, 33 KOs) on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Kownacki Arreola008
From the opening bell, both Kownacki and Arreola went at it trading bombs the whole fight. Arreola injured his left hand midway and fought mostly one-handed after that. Scores were 118-110, 117-111, 117-111.

“I just have to keep training hard, getting better and sharpening my skills,” said Kownacki. “We’ll see what the future holds. Hopefully next year I’ll get the title shot.”

“Retirement is something I need to talk to my family and team about,” said the 38-year-old Arreola. “I gave it my all this fight. I let it all hang out. After breaking my hand, I kept fighting because I believed I could win.”

Junior middleweight Wale “Lucky Boy” Omotoso (28-4, 22 KOs) scored a third round TKO over former middleweight title challenger Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens (30-7, 22 KOs). Omotoso dropped Stevens in all three rounds. The bout was waved off at 1:28 of round three. It was Stevens’ first fight in the junior middleweight division.

Heavyweight Brian Howard (15-3, 12 KOs) needed just 66 seconds to destroy 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron (20-3, 16 KOs).

Welterweight Brian Jones (15-10, 9 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten Julian Sosa (13-1-1, 5 KOs) in round five.


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    • Has Curtis Stevens ever fought on TV and not been KO’d? Seriously, every time I’ve seen him fight, he’s been KO’d in under 3 rounds. He’s always billed as a top contender, but who has he ever beaten? He had good promotion coming out of the amateurs under Damon Dash’s foray into boxing- The Chin Checkers, but other than that, how has he gotten so many oppurtunities?

  • This guy Omotoso should get a chance to crack the top 5 in the WBO at 147. If he can land a fight with the winner of Mikka Shonena (WBO Africa) NAM and Youli Dong, on Aug 24th. At 153.6 lbs. I kind of doubt he makes 147. But, still, not so long ago he had a split decision with Jamal James, and James is rated #11 WBC, #7 WBA, #13 IBF at 147. Omotoso and James had really close punch stats in that fight. Omotoso cracks the top 100 in the IBO ratings at 154, Stevens was #58 in the IBO at 160. So Omotoso is probably legit enough to be a top 40 fighter now at 154. I remember his fight with Jessie Vargas, very entertaining. And the last 2 guys Omotoso has losses against have a combined record of 41-1. Omotoso was down under until 2010. He is American based now. People wonder who are the best fighters at 154 in Australia? Jeff Horn, Zerafa, Tim Tszyu, Jack Brubaker? I think Omotoso is left to be in that mix too. Larry Ekundayo from Nigeria is another guy Omotoso can try to land a fight with over in London.

  • I am wondering how the hell Stevens got down to 154. Career now looks over. Here is hoping he realises this and gets out with all his faculties.

  • Tell you what after watching Chris vs Adam I’m worn out. I expected a good tough fight but i did not expect this output from both men. It was not Ibeabuchi vs Tua or Holyfield vs Dokes, however in this era we are lucky to actually get two men that can give and take so many punches. I must say Kowanachi is a heavy handed fighter, hits much harder than I’ve seen from him before.. I’m also surprised that Arreiola was able to put up such a performance. You know styles make fights and these two have the style that brings excitement in this pairing.Usually i’m not impressed by two guys that are so fat, but these two (and Andy Ruiz) have skills that can bring the heat in the hwt division. Adam throws so many hard shots, and I think he can hurt anyone in the hwt division if he gets a chance. PBC finally put on a good tough honest fight in the hwt division tonight.

  • Kownacki is a heavy handed fighter, but his punches don’t seem to have much steam. He just doesn’t have KO power and doesn’t put some snap on those shots before they land. After a strong start, he slowed down and was pushing his punches in the second half of the fight. He also didn’t have any head movement and was a sitting duck whenever Arreola threw punches.

    This was the best Arreola I’ve seen in a while, and Kownacki’s flabby frame made Arreola look slim in comparison. At best Arreola is a B-level fighter and Kownacki is essentially at the same level. I expected someone to get hurt during the fight, but neither fighter was seriously buzzed in the entire fight. When they backed off, it was basically to recover from fatigue and not from the opponent’s punches.

    A good win for Kownacki, but I don’t see him having much upside. Too easy to hit and doesn’t seem to have the stamina to punch hard in the second half of 12-round fights. He tired badly in the last four rounds of the Charles Martin fight and was throwing slow arm punches in the second half of this fight. He needs to be in much better shape for future fights.

    • I’m with you… Kownacki clearly has raw talent and pure toughness. But unless he seriously dedicates himself to his craft- meaning a LOT of time in the weight room and road work- this is the top of his game. He may be able to beat a top guy in a one-off, but he’s going to be perpetually limted by how out of shape he is. He needs a much stronger commitment to being a pro athlete. This was a good fight, but neither guy was really a good advocate for boxing in that they both showed up looking like lunks.

    • You’re right on all counts. Kownacki is too easy to hit. He may be tough but a good heavyweight who can punch will knock him out.

      • Lucky for him there isn’t much else in the division. Every negative you guys mention about him except too easy to hit could also be said about Ruiz, who just beat up the guy most people thought was the best fighter in division. And Ruiz’s defense isn’t exactly going to make anyone forget Jimmy Young.

        As flabby as those guys were last night, they showed much better stamina than just about anyone else in this sad group of HWs. Wilder, Fury, Whyte and crew are lucky to be able to throw 40 punches a round while these guys threw close to 100 a round. Of course they looked tired at times, but so do all of these other guys but they’re on;y throwing about half as many punches.

        For all the talk of the giant modern HW, the only 240+ one at the top now who isn’t at least 25 pounds overweight is Joshua and he doesn’t seem to be able to fight at a hard pace for more than a few rounds. Wilder is 215-220, Fury, Whyte, Kownacki, Ruiz and Povetkin would all weigh no more than about 210-215 without the flab.

        It was an excellent fight from two warriors who deserve our respect, because they showed more heart than we’ll probably see form just about anyone else in the division.

  • That was fun to watch. Kownacki has potential but he needs a better trainer. A KO artist will put him out within 6 rounds. Just a step above Arreola in potential. The ultimate Heavyweight match? Go to you tube and watch Ron Lyle vs George Foreman. Both could afford to fight like Kownacki because their power was a few steps ahead of both tonight. Epic epic fight. When all the fights were on regular TV and your not paying PPV for geriatric or non mainstream names.

  • It looks to me like Stevens can’t take a good punch at this point in his career. Omotoso is a hard hitter and is a tough out for anyone. However, based on his past performances, it seems he’s just below the top level. What I believe this fight tells me is that Stevens should call it quits.

  • Jame Roman, the only pathetic bum is you coward. These two athletes went at each other with cajones that you can only dream you had. What amazes me is there’s always going to be some hero arm chair warrior shooting down someone for whatever stupid reason like you are. Please stick to men’s figure skating and leave boxing to real men.

  • Stevens was one hell of a fighter.. I think his run ins with GGG and David Lemeiux kinda derailed his career. As for Kownacki, he doesnt have Defense or move his head but he sure the hell has a chin!

    • Those two fights were his career. He climbed the mountain, but couldn’t quite reach the peak.

      I had high hopes for him at 154, because he was a small Middleweight. Unfortunately, his chin is seriously gone now and he probably should retire or at least drop down his competition and forget being a contender.

      I have to compliment Omatosa’s chin and poise. Steven’s brought serious heat and landed some flush shots only to have Walle just absorb and counter. It was a nice performance.

  • This was a fun fight. It was a complete snap shot of Arreola’s career. Kownacki has some good skill, puts punches together with decent power, but lacks defense and a disciplined training regiment. If this isn’t the epitome of Arreola in his prime, then I don’t know what is.

    Conversely, Arreola came in to this fight as ready as he could have been. Who knows, if he doesn’t injure his hand maybe he could have taken advantage of Kownacki’s late fight fade. Still, this is the best Arreola has and it was no where enough. I hope he retires. I’ll miss him, because he almost always entertained, but the younger version of him can carry the torch.

  • I had thought that Kownacki would win and win early … I give Arreola much credit as it was his best performance of his career and it was obvious that he took it seriously as he was trim BUT also, he attacked in each round…. His team should tell him, stay in the game but aslo, fight more frequently, at least 3 times a year… again I was impressed with his perfornace but also noticed that Kownacki lost some steam and power as the fight went on…. He’ll be champion some day… maybe a rematch somewhere down the line… Arreloa, hang in there and fight more…

  • These two boxers could have thrown more punches than what they did and still would not have hurt one another. The fight looked as though each was caressing each other. Unless of course I, like many of us have been watching Ruiz Jr. fights and just got used to his speed in the ring in which case I have gotten the “Andy Ruiz addiction.”

  • it was a hellava fight, the best I seen arrreola for quite a while, flabby yes, but these guys came to fight,adam, dont know quite what to say about him yet, someone that can punch hard will knock him out early,

  • just watched replay of fight and can honestly say I am bewildered by the decision and the so called expert judges scorecards! A draw or maybe Arreola by the slightest of margins.

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