Heavyweights Adam Kownacki, 18-0(14) and Gerald Washington, 19-2-1(12) could well give us a great fun fight on tomorrow night’s Keith Thurman/Josesito Lopez card – the kind of wild, at times sloppy slugfest fans can warm to. Polish warrior Kownacki, a man who barrels forward and slings out leather with seeming abandon, has adopted this approach again and again during his exciting career, and against a potentially tough test in Washington, don’t expect to see Kownacki box like a polished, slick pro. Instead, expect some great value for money from the supporting feature.
Kownacki, last seen out-slugging former IBF heavyweight champ Charles Martin, said after his biggest pro win to date how he feels he has proven himself as a top-10 fighter. He’s a whole lot of fun to watch, that’s for sure, but how far can the Brooklyn-based slugger go? Looks sure can be deceiving, and when fans look at Kownacki’s less than chiselled physique, there are some concerns. But Kownacki can fight (Lou DiBella told us so months ago).
Kownacki took some good shots from a determined Martin back in September (who, on this night, showed the kind of heart and desire he totally left at home the night he lost his briefly held strap in his dreadful showing against Anthony Joshua) and the Pole’s chin held up. Can Washington – who has won one since being stopped by Jarrell Miller – make a dent in Kownacki? The way Kownacki lunges in, drops his hands and basically has no real defence apart from offence at stages in his fights, it’s certainly possible Washington (at age 36 the older man by seven years) could land something big. Again, it should be a good heavyweight fight tomorrow.
If Kownacki can take any power shots Washington lands on him, it will likely be another good night for the man dubbed “Baby Face.” But if Kownacki’s defensive shortcomings get him in trouble and his chin is cracked, who knows?
If he does get the win tomorrow, there could be some big fights out there for Kownacki, against guys like Bryant Jennings’s recent conqueror Oscar Rivas, Andy Ruiz or maybe Trevor Bryan. Still, we can’t write off Washington (who has to know that if it’s three strikes he’s out).
Look for both men to give it their all and send the fans home happy. Kownacki will pick up a fine win if he can force a stoppage. A decision win looks more likely.