Bombs away this Saturday night as Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola throw hands
By John J. Raspanti
Forget body beautiful. Forget handsome. If you want that, go watch a beauty pageant.
Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola are fighters. Big fighters. Both will likely each weigh over 250 pounds when they meet this Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
They can also punch, with a combined 48 knockouts in 57 fights. In other words, when the bell rings, don’t take a trip to the refrigerator.
"Chris Arreola and I are going to put on the fight of the year," Kownacki said at a press conference last month. "We’re going to show that the big guys can really fight. The heavyweight division is hot right now and this is going to add to it. With our styles being guys who come forward, it doesn’t get better as a boxing fan."
"Adam and I are going to put on a great fight,” said Arreola. “I’m really excited for this one. As a fan, this is the kind of fight I’d want to watch. It’s going to be a fight that’s talked about for years."
Kownacki is undefeated in 19 fights, starching 15 opponents. He’s all about aggressiveness and power. No “sweet science” here. He’ll take three to land one. Kownacki was last seen in the ring rumbling with former title challenger Gerald Washington. Both heavyweights came out throwing bombs. In the opening stanza, Washington landed a few hard-right hands. Kownacki walked right thru ’em. Near the end of the round, he teed off, hurting the gigantic Washington with wicked shots. Washington wobbled back to his corner.
Washington mounted a kill-or-be-killed attack in round two. He fired from the hip, opening a cut above Kownacki’s eye. He looked confident – until Kownacki nailed him with a thunderous right hand. Washington crumbled to the canvas. He beat the fatal 10 count, but his fight essentially was over. Kownacki attacked, punishing Washington until referee Harvey Dock stopped the massacre.
Arreola, 38, was stopped by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in 2016. His career appeared over. He didn’t fight for two years. When he returned last December, nobody knew what to expect. He stopped Maurenzo Smith in six, and followed that up by knocking out Jean Pierre Augustin in March. Arreola looked refreshed and happy during the Pierre Augustine bout. He credits the work he’s been doing with new trainer, Joe Goossen.
"I’m learning a lot of new tricks of the trade and working on the old things also,” Arreola said. “I’m looking forward to this fight because the things that I’ve been working on with Joe (Goossen) are going to come out in this fight."
Goossen told Dennis Taylor and me during a recent interview that he’s enjoyed working with Arreola.
“Chris has done everything I’ve asked him,” said Goossen.
Arreola (know’s) knows that his fight with Kownacki is a do-or-die for his boxing career.
"I’m saying it now. If I lose, I’m retiring," Arreola said. "But I’m not going to lose. I’m coming guns blazing to get this win."
Retirement is the last thing on Kownacki’s mind. A win over Arreola will likely set up a world title bout next year. But he won’t allow himself to look past Arreola.
"Arreola has been in there with everyone, so I know it’s a tough test,” said Kownacki.
“He’s coming off two knockout wins, so I know he’ll be ready, but I’m more ready,"
Kownacki is heavily favored to send Arreola into retirement. He’s younger and fresher. Expect Arreola to go it from the opening bell.