By: Sean Crose
In the summer of 2017, at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, Brooklyn – by way of Poland – native Adam Kownacki met with fellow heavyweight Artur Szpilka in a scheduled 10 round affair. Szpilka, who had just battled WBC powerhouse Deontay Wilder, didn’t make it past the fourth round. Fast forward to last summer at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. On his home turf, Kownacki stepped in the ring to face former IBF heavyweight champ Charles Martin. That fight went to the cards, but it was Kownacki who walked away with the UD win.
Now Kownacki, 18-0, is set to face well known heavyweight contender Gerald Washington, 19-2-1, on the undercard of the Keith Thurman – Josesito Lopez fight on January 26th. Kownacki, who fights with Al Haymon’s PBC, will once again be fighting at Barclay’s. “I love it, you know,” he says about fighting on his home turf once again. Kownacki also enjoys being apart of PBC. “It’s great,” he says. “I’ve been with Al and PBC for five years.” To Kownacki, there’s obvious benefits to being part of the same stable as Wilder, Thurman, and many others, “especially with exposure.”
As a young man, Kownacki first got the boxing bug watching fellow Pole Andrew Golata. “Watching him really drove me to boxing,” he says. There were no boxing gyms near Kownacki’s home, but “there was a gym in Astoria, Queens.” After building a solid foundation, it was on to (the famous Brooklyn gym) Gleasons, (and) winning the Golden Gloves.” The rest, as they say, is history. Still, the man is willing to give credit to those around him. “I’ve got a really good team behind me,” he says, adding that right now he wants his career to continue along “the best route available.”
And now the route is leading him to the tall and formidable Washington. “Camp is going great,” says Kownacki, who says he is “working on doubling, tripling the jab.” Kownacki also claims he’s been having “great sparring” in the leadup to the Washington fight. Although, with 14 out of his 18 wins coming by knockout, he can be viewed as a power puncher, Kownacki views things realistically. “You’ve got to keep winning,” he says. “Of course you want to get the knockout.” Still, “the win is most important.” Not that Kownacki is ever going to be primarily a defensive minded fighter.
“I always comes forward,” he says. That strategy has proven to be good for Kownacki…and good for fans of exciting fights, as well.