Heavyweight warriors Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola gave it their all last night in New York, in so doing thrilling us fans with a genuine Fight Of The Year candidate. The pace, for two big men who both came in over the 240 pound mark (Kownacki raising a few eyebrows by tipping-in at a career-heavy 266), was incredible, the punch output of both guys even more so. In fact the Pole and the Mexican/American set a punch-stat record last night, with an astonishing 2,000-plus punches being thrown; most of which landed.
The two men went at it right from the opening bell, each man looking to hurt the body as much as the head, and the war was on. Kownacki, eight years the younger man at 30, was a little quicker, he edged more rounds and he was a deserved winner, yet the too-wide scores of 118-110 and 117-111 failed to give veteran Arreola the credit he sure deserves. Whipping himself into fantastic shape at age 38, having had such a long and at times tough career cannot have been an easy thing (it was a full ten years ago that Arreola fought Vitali Klitschko) yet Arreola showed last night that he still has real fire in his belly, that he is still enthusiastic about the sport.
Kownacki, now 20-0(15) may have been fortunate in that Arreola, 38-6-1(33) either busted or at least injured his left hand early in in the fight, a fight that has to be looked at as the toughest fight of his career so far. But Kownacki dug deep himself, he showed he has good stamina, a reliable chin and Kownacki reaffirmed the fact that he has a real love of going into the trenches.
It’s a tired cliché, but the fans were truly the winners last night. It wasn’t so much Thrilla in Manila, but Kownacki and Arreola gave us a fight worthy of the tag-line, ‘Bombs Away in Brooklyn.’
Together, Kownacki and Arreola reminded us in stark fashion how special this great sport really is. And they did it with great sportsmanship (in a lovely touch, these two fighting men, having just gone through