Known for welcoming any war in the gym and for throwing hundreds of punches per round, Adam Kownacki is a rare breed for a Heavyweight.
If you didn’t know he was a Heavyweight contender, you’d probably laugh at his body physique. But, as Kownacki stated during the pre-fight meeting, boxing isn’t about how big your muscles are.
“This isn’t a body building contest,” said Kownacki, and after showing his full set of skills against former IBF titleholder Charles Martin on Saturday night, you can’t argue with him.
Kownacki came out of the gates quickly, backing the visibly tentative Martin up with shots to body and head. Martin tried to work Kownacki’s soft body, but that didn’t work as the Polish-born Brooklyn fighter relentlessly came forward.
Round 4 saw Kownacki go crazy with body shots, backing Martin up and forcing him to hold on for dear life.
Although Steve Farhood had Kownacki up five rounds to zero headed into Round 6, to his credit, Martin continued to work hard as he tried to erase the label of a fighter with no heart.
Most people remember Martin best for his horrendous knockout loss at the hands of Anthony Joshua, but he did his best to erase those demons on Saturday night.
In Round 8, an all-out battle broke out as both men unleashed thunderous shots. Martin, surprisingly, gave as good as he got and took the round on Farhood’s scorecards as the fight seemed to turn a bit in favor of the former titleholder.
As Kownacki headed into Round 9, his trainer pleaded with him to work more.
Kownacki took his trainers instructions to heart, but Martin never backed down. Round’s 9 and 10 produced some exciting action as both men wobbled one another.
In the last minute of Round 10, Martin unleashed everything in his arsenal, only to have Kownacki come right back and do the same. It was impressive to see two big men keep up that pace and eat so many hard punches.
In the end, the official judges scored the bout 96-94 three times to give Kownacki a narrow unanimous-decision win. Showtime’s Steve Farhood had the fight 97-93 for Kownacki.
Kownacki spoke with Showtime’s Jim Gray and although he had a lot to say about Martin’s heart before the fight, he gave his opponent props.
“He gave it his all. Thank you, Charles,” said Kownacki after the fight. “I think I proved it tonight that I’m a top 10 fighter.”
Martin definitely made some fans, showing he’s not a guy that just quits when the going gets tought.
“A lot of people don’t give me credit for my inside work,” said Martin. “I’m a late starter, but he was the better man tonight. I put up a hell of a fight, I just came up short.”
Photos by Amanda Westcott/Showtime