NEW YORK – Ali Eren Demirezen doesn’t think Adam Kownacki knows what he has gotten himself into.
The Turkish heavyweight contender joked during an interview with BoxingScene.com that Kownacki “must be planning to finish his career with me” Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Kownacki was raised. Kownacki undoubtedly needs to defeat Demirezen to revive his career after back-to-back technical-knockout losses to Robert Helenius, yet this isn’t a typical comeback bout.
Oddsmakers have installed Demirezen (16-1, 12 KOs) as almost a 2-1 favorite to beat Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) in a 10-round fight Showtime will televise as its co-feature before Danny Garcia makes his 154-pound debut in the 12-round main event versus Jose Benavidez Jr.
“He might think that I’m a [lesser] opponent, that this is an easy fight,” Demirezen told BoxingScene.com. “But he has no idea what I’m gonna show in the ring.”
The 32-year-old Demirezen hasn’t underestimated Kownacki, despite that he has lost two straight fights to Finland’s Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs). The 2016 Olympian realizes the 33-year-old Kownacki will be motivated to regain his old form in this hometown fight.
Demirezen isn’t concerned, though, that if they go to the scorecards that the judges will be influenced by the thousands of fans who will show up to support the popular Polish veteran.
“I always fight [away from home],” said Demirezen, who resides in Hamburg, Germany. “I feel like wherever I step in, it is my land. I have no worries about fighting any place. … I’m not really worried about the judges or anything like that. I’m gonna win the fight in the ring.”
The 6-foot-3, 261-pound Demirezen doesn’t think he got the credit he deserved from the judges in his lone loss – a 10-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Efe Ajagba in July 2019. Nigeria’s Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs), who was undefeated at that time, defeated Demirezen by scores of 99-91, 99-91 and 97-93 on the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman undercard three years ago at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“It was a good fight,” Kownacki told BoxingScene.com. “He was very game, kept coming forward. I thought Ajagba out-boxed him, but like I said before, he’s a very tough opponent. He comes forward and he’s not afraid to take a shot. I think it’s gonna be a real interesting matchup.”
Before Kownacki and Demirezen enter the ring, Showtime’s tripleheader will start with a 10-round junior welterweight bout between Gary Antuanne Russell (15-0, 15 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Maryland, and Rances Barthelemy (29-1-1, 15 KOs, 1 NC), of Havana, Cuba. Philadelphia’s Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) and Phoenix’s Benavidez (27-1-1, 18 KOs) will headline a three-bout broadcast slated to begin at 9 p.m. ET.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.