By Keith Idec
Adam Kownacki’s quest for a heavyweight title shot could lead the Polish contender toward a fight against a former champion.
BoxingScene.com has learned a deal for a bout between the Polish-born, Brooklyn-based Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) and Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) is near completion. If, as expected, their agreement is completed, Kownacki and Martin would fight on the Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter undercard late this summer.
Philadelphia’s Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) and Las Vegas’ Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) are likely to square off August 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Garcia, who’s ranked No. 1 by the WBC, and Porter, who’s ranked No. 2, will fight for the WBC welterweight title an injured Keith Thurman relinquished late in April.
Showtime will televise the Garcia-Porter fight and could air the Kownacki-Martin match as part of that telecast.
Assuming their deal gets finalized, Martin will face his toughest test against Kownacki since Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) knocked him out in the second round to win the IBF heavyweight title from Martin two years ago. Martin, of Carson, California, has won both of his bouts by knockout since returning to the ring nearly 14 months ago.
The 32-year-old Martin – a strong, 6-feet-5, 250-pound southpaw – would end a 13-month layoff if he fights Kownacki on August 25. Martin hasn’t fought since stopping Mike Marrone (21-9, 15 KOs) in the first round July 18 in Alexandria, Louisiana.
The 29-year-old Kownacki most recently knocked out Georgia’s Iago Kiladze (26-3, 18 KOs) in the sixth round January 20 at Barclays Center. Kownacki, who hopes to eventually land a shot at WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), scored the biggest victory of his career last summer, when he stopped Poland’s Artur Szpilka (21-3, 15 KOs) in the fourth round of a July 15 fight at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.