By Keith Idec
Date, opponent and site changes have led to the finalization of a FOX doubleheader August 3 in Brooklyn.
Multiple sources have confirmed to BoxingScene.com that the network will air a doubleheader that night that’ll match heavyweights Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola in the main event and light heavyweights Marcus Browne and Jean Pascal in the co-feature. FOX Sports’ Mike Coppinger first reported the news Wednesday.
Kownacki initially thought he would fight Finland’s Robert Helenius (28-2, 17 KOs), but Premier Boxing Champions’ Al Haymon eventually settled on Arreola as Kownacki’s opponent. Arreola is 38 and mostly has lost against top opponents, but his style should mesh well with Kownacki’s approach to make for an entertaining fight at Barclays Center.
If Brooklyn’s Kownacki wins, it’ll keep the unbeaten contender at least in position to fight WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder sometime early in 2020 if Wilder isn’t able to land a rematch with Tyson Fury or the biggest fight for him, a showdown with fellow champion Anthony Joshua. Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) could fight Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs, 2 NC) in a rematch next, perhaps as early as sometime in September.
In his last fight, the 30-year-old Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) stopped Gerald Washington (19-3-1, 12 KOs) in the second round January 26 at Barclays Center. Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KOs, 1 NC), of Riverside, California, most recently stopped Jean Pierre Augustin (17-1-1, 12 KOs) in the third round March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
As for Browne (23-0, 16 KOs), the undefeated, 28-year-old southpaw from Staten Island will make the first defense of the WBA interim light heavyweight title he won by beating Badou Jack (22-2-3, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Browne-Pascal bout had tentatively been scheduled for June 29, as part of Showtime’s Jermall Charlo-Brandon Adams undercard in Houston, but it was moved to this August 3 card.
The 36-year-old Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs, 1 NC), of Laval, Quebec, Canada, was on the wrong end of a lopsided, 12-round decision against Dmitry Bivol in his last bout, November 24 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Russia’s Bivol (16-0, 11 KOs) is the WBA’s true light heavyweight champion and a probable future foe for Browne if Browne beats Pascal.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.