Chris Arreola, Adam Kownacki Interview Transcript

R. Flores – Let’s meet one of the participants in our main event of the evening. His record, 38 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw, 33 wins coming by way of knock out. From Los Angeles, California, a three-time heavyweight title challenger who’s gone up against the likes of Deontay Wilder, Vitali Klitschko, Tomasz Adamek and also Bermane Stiverne. Most recently in action at AT&T Stadium, a part of the Spence – Garcia FOX Sports Pay Per View Event. He finished off the previously unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin in March. Please welcome, ladies and gentlemen, the always entertaining and the extremely dedicated and focused Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola.

Chris Arreola
First I’d like to thank everyone that’s out here right now and FOX for putting this great show on. I can’t wait to get in the ring with Adam. It’s going to be a fun night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing and I’m excited. I’ve been working hard, and I know Adam’s ready, and I’m very ready to get this show on the road.

R. Flores
Now for Adam Kownacki. His record, 19 wins, no losses, 15 wins coming by way of knock out. A 30-year-old who was born in Poland before moving to Brooklyn when he was only seven years of age. He is no stranger to Barclays Center. This will be the ninth time that he has sparred at Barclays Center but the first as the main event at Barclays Center. He had an impressive decision over former champion Charles Martin last September and most recently halted Gerald Washington in two rounds in January.

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Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the entertaining Adam Kownacki.

Adam Kownacki
Hello. Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure. I can’t wait to put on a show on August 30.

Q
With the recent news with Dillian Whyte, do you feel like a convincing win on Saturday night would, help you possibly slip in there and get that fight with Wilder a little sooner than expected, perhaps?

A. Kownacki
Yes, I think so. I think what I heard was that Deontay had some other stuff coming up with Luis Ortiz, and the fight with Tyson Fury. So definitely, hopefully towards the 2020 I’ll be able to get a crack at him. But most importantly I’ve got to make sure I get past Chris Arreloa August 3 this Saturday.

Q
Chris, when you called Joe Goossen three months ago, you knew it’s going to be a hard training camp. Why Joe Goossen and what happened during those three months?

Adam, for many, many years the number one on your list was Chris Arreola. Why Chris?

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C. Arreola
Well, the reason I went with Joe Goossen is first I’ve known Joe for many years. I’ve always been a fan of Joe ever since the Castillo – Corrales fight. And he’s part of the family. Dan Goossen was my old promoter, rest in peace. I wanted to keep it in the family. I like the way he works. I like that he’s an old school — very old school — kind of a coach. He’s very methodical and he makes sure that he’s there every minute of training camp.

It’s been very beneficial and it was a great experience for me. And I can’t wait to fight this Saturday so I can put everything on the line.

A. Kownacki
I think he’s still one of the biggest names in the heavyweight divisions. With all the great fighters he was in there with, he beat a lot of them. And then against the top ones he came up a little bit short. So I knew if I could beat Chris Arreola, I’m more on those sides that are really on the top of their game and top of the division. So I thinking beating a guy like Chris Arreola puts me up there in the top 10, top five category.

Q
I had the pleasure to speak with Joe Goossen last night and he said he doesn’t believe the fight goes past seven rounds. Chris, your opinion? Also Adam, you?

C. Arreola
I honestly agree on that. And it’s not saying anything negative against Kownacki because it could go either way. He can knock me out like I can knock him out. The thing is that we both have extensive amateur experience. We both know how to fight. We both just need a little window of opportunity to knock someone out. That’s all we need because we have the experience and we have the power. That’s the reason why Joe will say that because we’re both the fighters that – exciting fighters that are going to put it on the line.

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A. Kownacki
Yes. I’m ready for 12 rounds but if I get an opportunity to make it quick or go for it, I’ll go for it. It’s like you said before, if you guys have been boxing for a while, you’ve seen Chris around for a while. You see me coming up with the past couple of years so it sounds like the perfect matchup, like a great matchup for fans. We’re both looking for a knockout, so there is definitely going to be a lot of heavyweight haymakers being thrown. It’s not one of us trying to get the finish, it’s both of us trying to get the finish.

Q
Chris, I wonder if you could speak to your experience of having that sort of pressure that was part of your identity of the guy trying to become the first from your heritage to become heavyweight champion, now the way Adam is trying to become the first from his background.

C. Arreola
See the thing is that he has the whole Polish nation behind him, and it is a bit of a burden. Not so much a burden, but it’s a big weight on your shoulders to be carrying around. And as for myself, it was. It was a hard burden and a hard weight on my shoulders for me to carry around. And now that Andy did it, I feel like the weight is off my shoulders now. Now I can just actually just fight.

I think Adam just needs to just fight and not worry about first this or first that because the main thing is is getting that win and getting that fight and not getting caught up in the whole being the first because it’s a bit overwhelming. If you let yourself be caught up in that situation.

Q
Chris did you get caught up in that the first time you fought for the title?

C. Arreola
The first time was really the most pressure, when I fought Klitschko. That was the biggest pressure. The second time when I fought Stiverne, I didn’t have any pressure. I didn’t feel like I had the pressure because I was actually in really good shape and I was ready for that fight. Just happened that I got caught, and it’s boxing.

I was actually worried about the fight more than worrying about making history. And that’s really what you really have to be worried about, is just the fight in hand, the task in hand, because if you don’t take care of the task in hand, then there is no history.

It wasn’t even on my mind at all against Wilder. My mind at that point was just on winning the title. I wasn’t even thinking about being the first Mexican champion or being the first anything. All I wanted to be is be the champion. I just wanted to be a champion.

Q
Now that Andy has done that and did so in a huge upset, what were your feelings about that?

C. Arreola
I was happy for him, for his family, because he deserves it. Like I said, I’ve known the kid since he was 17 years old and he’s always been hungry. He’s always worked hard. He’s always been a big boy, but he’s always been a big boy with skill. And I was elated for him. I was elated for the Mexican fans that finally we had a Mexican champion. And he did it, man. And honestly, a lot of pressure came off of me and I congratulate him. I’m happy for him.

Q
So no disappointment that should you get another chance to fight for a heavyweight title that you cannot accomplish that particular feat?

C. Arreola
Absolutely not. Not at all. I’m not a bitter man and I’m not a man that’s going to be a resentful man. I love it. And I appreciate him, and I love what he did for the sport because he didn’t just do something big for the Mexican people but he made something big for the sport of boxing and for the heavyweight division because now it’s wide open.

Q
How does it feel to be the veteran in this type of fight instead of being the younger heavyweight?

C. Arreola
It’s the circle of life, man. Everything goes around, right? Goes around full circle. I was once a young lion and now I’m the old veteran. That’s exactly how I feel. I feel like Jameel McCline against me, but I feel like I’m in great shape. I feel like I’m ready to put on a great show, and I don’t feel like this is the end of my show. I think this is just another chapter of my boxing career.

I honestly believe that Adam is a great fighter. I think that he’s a really good fighter, but I’ve got to keep my career going.

Q
Do you still look at this fight and this run overall where it’s still one loss and you’re done, you’re retired for good?

C. Arreola
Absolutely. Absolutely man. No disrespect to anybody, no disrespect to Adam, because I think he’s a great fighter, but personally, if I lose, there’s no reason for me to be in the sport of boxing. I’m in boxing to be a champion. If I lose, it brings me all the way back to the bottom, and I don’t want to keep crawling back up and keep crawling back up again. I’m too old to be doing that.

So it’s a make or break kind of fight. It’s a win or go home thing. I know Adam has intentions to retire me, and I’m not planning to retire no time soon. I know Adam worked his butt off to get me out of boxing, but I worked hard myself.

Q
How do you feel getting this opportunity and potentially maybe enticing a guy like Deontay Wilder to fight, especially if you get a big win over Chris?

A. Kownacki
I grew up there. I grew up in Brooklyn. So it’s a great feeling being the headline and having all my friends, all my family, the whole community there and having my back and supporting me making something of myself. Growing up in Brooklyn, it’s very tough but it’s very rewarding. But yes, this is just the beginning. I feel this is the step in making something even bigger and greater.

Q
You mentioned wanting to beat Chris quicker than when Deontay Wilder did a couple of years ago. If you do beat him in quick fashion, do you think that alone will be enough to get that world title opportunity? Or do you feel like maybe there’s a still a little more before you can fully convince the title holder that’s heavyweight before getting that shot?

A. Kownacki
I think so. We spoke about his fight against McCline earlier today. So maybe that’s what I’ll do to Chris. I know it took Wilder seven or eight rounds. So if I do it in half the time, I’ll be happy. Especially with somebody tough like Chris Arreola.

Q
Are you concerned about Adam’s home field advantage at the Barclays Center?

C. Arreola
No not at all, man. No disrespect to the Polish fans for anything like that because I appreciate every fan. Every fan that comes in there gives me added motivation. At the end of the day it’s going to be me and Adam in the ring. There are not going to be any fans in the ring. So I’m okay.

Q
Do you picture yourself and imagine yourself as a future heavyweight champion with all the money and celebrity that can come with that or do you really just take things one fight at a time?

A. Kownacki
That’s my goal. I have a mission to be the first Polish born heavyweight champion of the world, and that’s my goal. You’ve got to stay humble because a lot of times you know it could drop you down back to earth real quick. I remember being an up and coming fighter, being four and 0, four knockouts. And I had a little misfortune of breaking my left hand and I was out for three years. I felt my whole world came crashing down.

But it was a very valuable lesson to make sure I’m humble. The goal remains the same, to be the world champion. And the fame and all that stuff that comes with it great. Right now I’m just laser focused on becoming heavyweight champion. Chris is in my way so I’ve got to make sure I’m able to win on Saturday.

Q
What are some of the new things that maybe you paid attention to with Joe that you didn’t necessarily focus on in the past?

C. Arreola
One of the main things that Joe does is he is a back to basics trainer. He makes sure that you’re tall and jab right. So I think that my punches are going to come out of the pocket a lot smoother and he’s taught me a lot of new defensive movements. The main thing is doing this and making everything just flow.

Q
You debuted as a professional in 2003. It’s 2019 now and you’re 38 years old. How would you say our perspective towards boxing has changed from then to now?

C. Arreola
Well, my perspective from boxing, the main thing I have changed is the work ethic, the way you work. You really have to work, because boxing is my job, so I have to work like it’s my job. I have to treat my body right, like it’s a machine, because it is a machine. The main thing now, especially because I’m older, is paying attention to my body and working hard and not beating myself up where I ain’t going to have nothing left tomorrow.

Q
What’s the biggest piece of knowledge that’s been invaluable to you as a veteran?

C. Arreola
Well inside the ring, as far as inside the ring, the main thing is staying calm. You can’t get all wild and get excited because that’s just wasted energy. And outside the ring is just being open with the fans man. Because you’ve got to remember, you’re nobody without the fans. And just like that, they could pull the carpet under your feet and legs and you can land flat on your face. Got to be humble. Got to treat everyone the way you want to be treated. So that’s just my main thing. And moderation. Everything in moderation.

Q
Adam you and Chris are very physically similar to each other same height, same reach. What do you feel that you do that separates the two of you?

A. Kownacki
It’s definitely very similar styles. Obviously we fight very similar. We throw a lot of punches, we both come forward. So I guess it’s going to be a more experienced lion fighting a younger, hungry lion. You’re going to see whose lands on top. Me and Chris are so similar, like I said, so we have similar aspects from our height, our reach, the way we fight, but it’s going to be the experience could stopping the youth.

Q
Chris, do you think it’s a good thing for boxing to be able to kind of breakdown the sides of the street mentality?

C. Arreola
That’s the way it seems. Boxing is also good because everybody’s their own boss. I think what PBC is doing with boxing is great. It gives us a platform to perform. I think it’s got to be great for the fighters and there are a lot of great fights. So I think it’s just a better when everybody’s satisfied.

Q
Adam are you pretty confident those fights can still be made that are kind of cross that promotional divide?

A. Kownacki
Of course. The fights are going to happen it’s just a matter of coming to an agreement that satisfies everyone.

Q
Chris, being that Adam is a heavy favorite in the fight and you’re viewed as kind of the older guy, how much motivation has that given to you that you’re kind of in some respects being counted out this time?

C. Arreola
I don’t even pay attention to the odds to be honest with you. My main motivation is win or go home. That’s my motivation. My motivation is to keep fighting, to keep putting food on my family’s table, keep making a living off of boxing. That’s my motivation.

Q
Chris, do you view this as your last chance, basically, so to speak?

C. Arreola
Absolutely. This is my last chance, man. This is my last chance not because the media or anything like that. This is my last chance because I say so. If I lose, I go home, no matter if it’s a great fight, if it’s a great fight or great event or it’s a could have gone either way, plain and simple. I lose it, I go home. I stay home. One and done, no more. So this is my added motivation. This is all I want. This is what I’m living for.

Q
Adam, how much more dangerous does that make Chris being that he’s toward the end of his career and he does view this as his last opportunity to kind of get where he wants to go?

A. Kownacki
A lot. I think that a desperate man is a dangerous man and I think he’s very desperate to get in line for a title shot. He had two knockout wins in a row so I’m prepared for the best Chris Arreola. He looks like he’s in great shape. I’ve just got to make sure I have a better game plan and that I’m in better shape, which I know I’ve put in a lot of hard work for.

Q
When do you think you think your world title shot will come and what do you intend to do until then?

A. Kownacki
Keep training. Stay in shape. I could have had an opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua but I was out of shape. So I didn’t pick up the challenge. So from now on, I’m in boxing shape. That’s it. Because the title shot could come around the corner in a couple of weeks’ notice because injuries and accidents happen. So I’m definitely going to be in camp nonstop, always working and perfecting my craft.

Q
Did you regret not being ready when that call came just because Joshua was upset in that fight?

A. Kownacki
Yes, as I said I was not in any shape. I wasn’t in the boxing shop. I wanted to fight. It was my birthday. I found out my wife was pregnant, so I enjoyed life a little bit, which I regret because boxing’s my fulltime profession. And since that call I was, like, yo I got to get in shape and make sure that never happens again.

So it was a learning lesson which maybe stopped me from achieving my goal a little faster than I would have. But I kind of wasn’t ready so it was the right choice. I just got to compete to go down there. That’s what life is about. It’s about getting through our experiences, learning new lessons and making sure you’re always in shape. So I’m in pretty good shape now, and if that call comes again in the near future I’ve got to be ready.

R. Flores
All right, guys. We appreciate both Chris Arreola and Adam Kownacki taking out the time. Before we let them go as they get prepped for their showdown this Saturday FOX PBC Fight Night from Barclays Center in Brooklyn all promoted by TGB Promotions. We go live 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Final comments from Chris Arreola and Adam Kownacki. We’ll start off with Chris Arreola. Chris?

C. Arreola
You know what? I’m just ready for this Saturday. Let’s get this show going, man. See you guys this week. Thank you.

R. Flores
Adam, final comments?

A. Kownacki
No sleep till Brooklyn. I’ll see you guys on August 3.

# # #

ABOUT KOWNACKI VS. ARREOLA
Kownacki vs. Arreola pits undefeated Polish star and Brooklyn-native Adam Kownacki against veteran former title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola for a heavyweight showdown that headlines FOX PBC Fight Night on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, August 3 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features unbeaten interim WBA Light Heavyweight Champion “Sir” Marcus Browne battling former world champion Jean Pascal in a 12-round bout, plus Brooklyn’s Curtis Stevens makes his 154-pound debut against Wale Omotoso in a 10-round fight.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.

Viewers can live stream the PBC shows on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. In addition, all programs are available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.

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