Adam Kownacki vs. Robert Helenius is a classic rising contender vs. aging veteran matchup. It should entertain fans but might not be competitive.
The recent boxing action in the heavyweight division continues on Saturday, March 7, between unbeaten Adam Kownacki and veteran Robert Helenius on FOX. Kownacki and Helenius aren’t afraid to let their hands go, but this contest could prove to be one-sided.
Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) is rated as the 11th-best heavyweight in the world by Boxrec.com. At 30 years old and with a 75 percent KO rating, Kownacki’s potential is promising. He has wins over Chris Arreola, Gerald Washington, Charles Martin, and Artur Szpilka. His résumé is coming together nicely, but he didn’t look overly impressive in his last bout.
Kownacki’s last win came in August of 2019 against an aged Arreola. In his prime, Arreola was a legitimate title contender, but he was diminished by the time he fought Kownacki. Many expected Kownacki to knock out Arreola, but he had to settle for a unanimous decision victory.
Helenius is positioned in a similar manner as Arreola was in August. Helenius was once regarded as one of the best heavyweights in the division until he was surprisingly knocked out by Johann Duhaupas in 2016.
Helenius won a tune-up bout his last time in the ring in November, but he was viciously knocked out by Gerald Washington in round 8 the fight before. Helenius was the favorite but found himself in a back and forth battle with Washington. His defensive skills looked eroded, but his offense was still potent at times. Washington landed a haymaker that knocked Helenius out cold.
During the final fight week press conference, Helenius said, “I trained for years with a broken hand and have had injuries in the past. But the last two years, I’ve been healthy and with the same trainer and I feel physically as good as I ever have.”
Helenius’s comments address some of his past shortcomings but don’t explain his devastating loss to Washington. It should be noted that Kownacki demolished Washington in January of 2019.
Kownacki realizes that he needs an impressive win against Helenius if he wants recognition as a top-10 heavyweight.
“I’m looking for a spectacular knockout,” said Kownacki during the March 5 press conference. “I want to show why I’m one of the best heavyweights in the world. I have to take care of business.”
Look for Kownacki to stay true to his word and knock out Helenius by round 6. He’s still approaching his peak and needs an eye-catching victory if he wants to push for a bout against the likes of Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua some time within the next two years.
Coverage of Kownacki vs. Helenius begins at 8 p.m. ET care of PBC on FOX.