Adam Kownacki will be headlining into his adopted borough of Brooklyn when he faces seasoned veteran Chris Arreola in the main event at Barclays Center on Saturday night.
‘Babyface’, the undefeated heavyweight contender, has racked up a series of impressive wins over respected opponents in recent times; including former IBF titlist Charles Martin and former WBC title challengers Gerald Washington and compatriot Artur Szpilka.
It is important to note that Kownacki was able to produce two devastating stoppage victories over the latter two in decidedly quicker fashion than Deontay Wilder was able to, in his respective title defences against the pair.
This is something not lost on the Polish-born puncher, who has vociferously expressed a willingness to throw down with Wilder at the Barclays Center – a venue also not unfamiliar to the Bronze Bomber in recent years.
Many observers believe that Kownacki has the mettle, conditioning and skillset to mix it at the highest level in the division – attributes he no doubt showcased in a gruelling twelve-round slugfest with heavy-handed southpaw Charles Martin.
If this year has demonstrated anything, however, it is that fighters cannot be afford to be complacent and Kownacki therefore must have his game face on when the first bell rings on Saturday night.
Arreola, a two-time former world title challenger, comes into this bout with considerable experience and a similarly rugged approach. Ultimately, though, general consensus dictates that the best days of the “Nightmare” are behind him, so it will be reasonable to expect fireworks for a couple rounds at least before Kownacki notches his twentieth career win in spectacular style.
Having wrangled recently with legal disputes that have threatened to derail his promising career, Long Island local Marcus Browne faces former WBC light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal as the chief support to Kownacki’s highly-anticipated showdown with Arreola.
The unbeaten light-heavyweight hopeful sprung a minor surprise in his last outing against Badou Jack, dominating the Swede throughout twelve rounds to win resoundingly on points and capturing the WBC ‘Silver’ and interim WBA championships in the process.
Pascal, meanwhile, remains a thoroughly experienced and stubborn operator; despite suffering setbacks in recent years to the likes of Sergey Kovalev (on two occasions), former WBO champion Eleider Alvarez in addition to reigning WBA titlist Dmitry Bivol.
On paper, Pascal certainly represents a significant scalp for Browne at this stage of his career, but nevertheless this has the makings of a somewhat predictable affair.
Expect Browne’s movement, athleticism and relative freshness to be the key factors as the favourite registers a comfortable decision win. Fans will be intrigued, nevertheless, to see if Browne can send out a statement to the rest of the division by stopping the tenacious Canadian inside the distance.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________