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Kownacki could get Andy Ruiz fight if victorious against Helenius

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By Aragon Garcia: Adam Kownacki has a lot on the line for his fight this Saturday night against Robert Helenius in their WBA heavyweight title eliminator at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Kownacki and Helenius will be fighting in the main event on FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes.

(Photo credit: Sean Michael Ham/Premier Boxing Champions)

With the fight being an eliminator, Kownacki (20-0, 15 KOs) could lock himself in as a mandatory for IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua. But that’s not all. Kownacki has a chance potentially face Andy Ruiz Jr. next, says @MikeCoppinger.

Kownacki vs. Ruiz Jr. would be a good fight for both guys to show that they deserve a crack at Joshua or Tyson Fury. The Poland born Kownacki is a good heavyweight, but his resume is thin and barren of quality wins. If Kownacki cool beat Helenius and Ruiz Jr. in consecutive fights, he would impress a lot of fans.

These are Kownacki’s best career wins:

  • Charles Martin
  • Chris Arreola
  • Iago Kiladze
  • Gerald Washington
  • Artur Szpilka

Those are good solid B/C-level heavyweights, and Kownacki looked good in beating them. After 11 years as a professional, Kownacki needs to step it up because he’s taking too long to start fighting the top guys.

When you look at Anthony Joshua, who been a pro for only seven years, it shows you how slowly Kownacki has been brought along. That’s why a fight between him and Ruiz Jr. makes a lot of sense if it can get made.

Kownacki will need to stay busy after Helenius fight

If victorious against Helenius (29-3, 18 KOs) on Saturday, Kownacki, 30, isn’t expected to get a straight title shot against Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) right away, seeing that there’s already two mandatory challengers waiting to fight AJ. He’s fighting IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on June 20, and then he’ll likely take care of his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk at some point in 2021 if he’s still a world champion by then.

Ruiz Jr. would be a good fight for Kownacki. The winner moves on and the loser looks to rebuild their career. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says that Ruiz Jr. needs a couple of good wins under his belt before a trilogy against AJ would make sense. Kownacki would be a good first step for Ruiz, and then perhaps a fight against Dillian Whyte. With wins over those two fighters, Ruiz will have earned the third fight with Joshua.

Earlier on Friday, Kownacki weighed in at 265 1/4 lbs for his 12 round fight against the big 6’6 1/2″ Swedish heavyweight Helenius. For his part, Helenius weighed in at 238 1/2 lbs. Helenius is attempting to pick up his second win in a row after losing to Gerald Washington by a surprising 8th round knockout in July of last year.

Adam Kownacki wants to show he’s for real

“I respect him. He’s a good fighter, I’m a good fighter,” said Kownacki about Helenius at Friday’s weigh-in. “We’re going to put on a really good show,” said Helenius during Friday’s weigh-in. “I try to block out the crowd and just focus on the fight.”

“That I’m the real deal,” said Kownacki when asked what he wants to show the fans on Saturday. “Helenius is a tough opponent. He’s fought everybody from Chisora to Dillian Whyte to Gerald Washington.

“You’re right which kind of sucks,” said Kownacki when told that the top heavyweights are busy right now. “I believe I’m the best heavyweight in the world. I got to beat everybody. It doesn’t matter who they put in front of me. Helenius is in front of me right now, and I’ve got to beat him on Saturday.

“As I’ve said before, he’s got a great resume. He beat Dereck Chisora. He has some losses but that happens to everybody. It’s a WBA eliminator, so it’d definitely going to put me up there. Right now, I’m just focusing on Robert Helenius. I’ve got to take care of Robert on Saturday.

“I know he’s in great shape, so I can’t look past him,” said Kownacki. “I think I’m going to have to cut off the ring, but I had a good camp to do that. I’ll cut the ring off, double-jab and go to the body.

“I’ve got a good corner to make sure nothing happens to me, and I’m able to enjoy another day. We’ve got families to go home to after,” said Kownacki.

Kownacki vs. Helenius undercard weights:

  • Heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (12-0, 10 KOs) weighed in at 242 1/2 lbs for his 10 round fight against former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu (17-6, 9 Kos) for their co-feature bout. Cojanu weighed in at 255 1/2 lbs. In Cojanu’s last fight, he defeated Tamaz Zadishvili by a six-round decision last October. Before that, Cojanu had lost four consecutive fights to Luis Ortiz, Daniel Dubois, Joseph Parker, and Nathan Gorman. Ajagba is someone that has world champion written all over him, but we won’t find out for a while if he can cut it at the next level. He’s not going to be rushed against anyone dangerous right now.
  • Cuban heavyweight Frank Sanchez Faure (14-0, 11 KOs) weighed in at 222 1/4 lbs for his 10 round bout against journeyman Joey Dawejko (20-7-4, 11 KOs). Dawejko weighed 247 1/2 lbs. The 6’4″ Sanchez towered over the 5’10” Dawejko during the face-off after the weigh-in. The heavyweights jawed at each other, and Sanchez reached out tapped him with a shot. It was nothing punch and nothing came of it. The Sanchez-Dawejko is the first fight on the televised portion of the card.


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