Kownacki: Focused on Helenius, can’t wait to get in and beat him

The silver lining for being out of the ring for so long is that Adam Kownacki was still aware of the fight that lay ahead on the other side of his forced break.

A full 19 months will have passed when Kownacki (20-1.15KOs) meets Finland’s Robert Helenius (30-3, 19KOs) again this Saturday in an attempt to avenge his only career loss. The two met last March at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Kownacki had previously emerged as a local attraction only to bring his world to a screeching halt after a knockout loss in the fourth round.

Even with the long delay, Kownacki did his part to avoid slipping back into bad habits. There’s too much at stake in what he considers the biggest fight to date, though he just doesn’t plan to be at the biggest stature of his career.

“Instead of growing a belly, I grew a beard,” Kownacki joked to BoxingScene.com. “I expect to be around 260 for this fight. For me, for this fight, I think that’s a good weight.” Knowing that we will fight again has kept me motivated.

“I know I’m ready. I’m just focusing on Robert Helenius. I can’t wait to get in and beat him.”

The fight serves as the primary support for more loyal customers in the heavyweight division. The main event pits Linear and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21KOs) against former titlist Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41KOs) for the third time, with both fights appearing on a Pay-Per-View event presented by ESPN + and Fox Sports from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Kownacki aspires to steal the show, getting in better shape than he has been in his last two fights. The 6’3 “Polish heavyweight was the fluffiest of a career at 266 pounds in a twelve-round unanimous decision victory over Chris Arreola in their August 2019 slugfest which set several Compubox records for the Weight. Kownacki was 265 in his loss to Helenius, two pounds heavier than in his September 2018 tight points victory over former heavyweight titlist Charles Martin.

Kownacki plans to be much closer to the peak of his fitness than he has been in the past three years. A victory on Saturday puts the 32-year-old contender back into the mix in a still scorching heavyweight division. Even with the uncertainty of when the rematch would take place, just knowing he was in the works was enough to stay ready.

“The first mission is to put that ‘W’ back on my record,” notes Kownacki. “What happened has happened. It’s time to put this behind me, which will be easier once we win. [this] weekend.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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