On Saturday night, heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki (20-0 15 KOs) defeated former title challenger Chris Arreola (38-6-1 33 KOs) via unanimous decision at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The official ringside judges scored the bout 118-110 and 117-111 (twice) for Kownacki.
In a bell-to-bell slugfest, both fighters broke the CompuBox record for the most punches thrown and landed in a heavyweight fight. Although Arreola was a game competitor throughout, Kownacki still proved to be too much for the 38-year-old.
After the 5th round, Arreola appeared to be nursing an injured left hand on the way his back to his corner. As a result of the apparent injury, Arreola had to rely mostly on his right hand to get the job done. But his right hand alone simply was not enough to fend off Kownacki, who landed 324 punches to Arreola’s 283.
For Kownacki, this fight was most likely an audition for a fight with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, who was sitting at ringside calling the fight with the Fox Sports commentating crew. While it appears that Wilder may have to settle matters with Luis Ortiz and Tyson Fury first, Kownacki may have set himself up for a Fall 2020 title shot, depending on how things play out with Ortiz and Fury.
“I just gotta keep training hard, keep getting better, keep sharpening my skills and see what the future holds,” Kownacki said to Fox Sports’ Heidi Androl. “Hopefully next year I get a title shot.”
Arreola on the other hand, is seriously considering hanging up the gloves. Although he gave a good account of himself, he has had a career spanning nearly 16 years and may be better suited for retirement.
“You know, this is something that I really have to talk to my family, Al (Haymon, advisor) and Joe (Goosen, trainer) about because I honestly feel it’s about time,” Arreola said to Heidi Androl after the fight. “I gave it my all this fight, I really let it all hang out. Even after breaking my hand I kept fighting and kept fighting because I believed I could win. So after this I need some time off to figure things out because I don’t know if I can go through this again.”
In the co-main event, former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (34-6-1 20 KOs) upset a previously unbeaten talent in Marcus Browne via a technical decision to win the WBA interim light heavyweight belt. The fight was stopped in the 8th round after an accidental clash of heads created a cut over Browne’s left eye. All 3 judges scored the contest 75-74 in favor of Pascal.
Although Browne was outlanding Pascal throughout the fight, Pascal landed the shots really counted. In the 4th round, Pascal dropped Browne with a right hand. Browne beat the count, despite getting up on wobbly legs.
In the 7th, Pascal sent Browne to the canvas again with another right hand. This time, Browne was more visibly hurt, as he stumbled face-first into Pascal’s corner after getting up. Browne was dropped once more in the closing seconds of the 7th round while he was still recovering from the effects of the previous knockdown.
In the 8th and final round, both fighters collided in an accidental headbutt. After Browne was deemed unable to continue by the ring doctor, the referee called a halt to the bout, leaving the fight in the judges hands.
It may be worth indicating that the judges still had to score the 8th round, even though the round was not finished. The limited amount of time the judges had to score the 8th may have played a factor in the official decision.
In the televised opener, Wale Omotoso (28-4 22 KOs) stopped former world title challenger Curtis Stevens (30-7 22 KOs) in three rounds in a jr. middleweight bout.
Omotoso floored Stevens in the opening stanza, putting him down with a clean right hand. Then, in the 2nd, Stevens went down again, this time off of an Omotoso left hook. After having some momentary success at the beginning of the 3rd, Stevens was dropped for the third and final time, as referee Johnny Callas waved the fight off after Stevens beat the count.
With the win over Stevens, Omotoso is now back in the win column, bouncing back from his decision loss to Chordale Booker in May of this year.