At the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, Saturday night Sweden born 6’6 1/2, Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius, 30-3 (19), of Marieham, Finland, upset previously unbeaten Poland’s Adam “Baby Face” Kownacki, 20-1 (15), out of Brooklyn, New York, at 1:08 of the fourth round, of a scheduled 12. Kownacki was ranked No.3 by both the IBF and WBO and No. 4 by the WBA. Helenius was ranked 7 by the WBA.
In the first round Kownacki rocked Helenius with a left hook to the chin halfway through the round. At the final seconds of the round Kownacki had Helenius against the ropes with a flurry of punches. In the fourth round at the start Kownacki landed a right cross to the chin of Helenius and slipped to the canvas landing on his right leg. He may have been hurt. Seconds later Helenius landed a jab, a right and left hook to the chin and down went Kownacki taking an 8-count from Referee David Fields. Helenius went on the attack landing over twenty unanswered punches before Referee Fields wisely stepped in to stop the onslaught! Kownacki took the first 3 rounds.
“I knew I hurt him and knew he was hurt with that punch and had to continue. Kownacki just kept coming and coming and I knew he was a good fighter. I had to give it to him. My strength is to punch back when I get hit. It was a good fight and a tremendous opportunity for me to me here,” said Helenius.
“It wasn’t my night. It’s boxing. It’s a tough sport and things just didn’t go my way tonight. It was a learning experience and I’m going to go back to the drawing board and get back to work. He hit me with a good shot. I knew what was going on, but I’m just upset with myself. It is what it is. There is no return clause but I hope we can do it again,” said Kownacki.
On the undercard loaded with heavyweights “The Cuban Flash” Frank Hernandez, 15-0 (11), out of Las Vegas, NV, won the vacant WBC Continental-Americas title defeating Philly’s Joey “The Tank” Dawejko, 20-8-4 (11), by scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92.
Nigerian Efe Ajagba, 13-0 (11), out of Stafford, TX, had Romania’s Razvan Cojanu, 17-7 (9), down in rounds 8 and 9 stopping him at 2:46 of the ninth round.
Puerto Rico’s 2008 Olympian 6’6″ Carlos Negron, 21-3 (17), upset Cuban Robert Alfonso, 19-1-1 (9), out of Orlando, FL, knocking him out at 2:03 of the first round.