2020 Upset of the Year: Robert Helenius defeats Adam Kownacki via TKO in round 4
There weren’t any colossal upsets with boxing’s biggest stars, but there were several involving some top-tier fighters.
Deontay Wilder losing to Tyson Fury was a slight upset by the odds that many saw coming. Also, Fury was undefeated heading into their February tilt. Alexander Povetkin’s knockout of Dillian Whyte in August was significant, but not as big as Robert Helenius’s stoppage of Adam Kownacki.
Helenius’s win over Kownacki didn’t have the biggest spread in odds, but it was massive when looking where each fighter was in their career.
Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) was undefeated and was fighting Helenius in front of his hometown Brooklyn crowd at the Barclay’s Center on March 7. Helenius (30-2, 19 KOs) came in off a win but suffered a brutal knockout loss to Gerald Washington two fights before. Seeing that fight, Helenius looked like he was done boxing.
Instead, Helenius proved that he’s still dangerous, and he stayed in the fight against Kownacki despite a slow first round. Kownacki thought he could walk through Helenius’s punches. It was a bad miscalculation.
Starting from round 2, Kowknacki took a lot of punches on the chin. At the start of round 4, Kownacki had Helenius on the ropes early but got dropped by a short right cross and went down. It was ruled a slip, but the punch hurt Kownacki. A left hook from Helenius put Kownacki flat on his back a short time later.
Kownacki got up, but his legs were gone. Helenius landed a barrage of punches, and Kownacki offered up nothing in return. The referee stopped the fight awarding Helenius with a round 4 TKO victory.
An undefeated prospect who was nearing a title shot getting stopped by a veteran who looked faded and finished a few fights before is enough to earn Upset of the Year.