Kownacki Regrets Conditioning Kept Him From Taking Joshua Fight

By Keith Idec

Luis Ortiz isn’t the only heavyweight wondering what would’ve happened had he accepted an opportunity to fight former champion Anthony Joshua on short notice.

Adam Kownacki turned down that chance, too, but not only because he also believed he’d challenge WBC champ Deontay Wilder in the foreseeable future. Kownacki wasn’t in good enough condition to cram in a five-week training camp and feel properly prepared for a fight of that magnitude June 1 at Madison Square Garden.

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Kownacki have similar body types. Ruiz was more confident about accepting what turned out to be a career-changing fight, however, because he had boxed about a week before the Joshua fight abruptly became available due to Jarrell Miller’s PED ordeal.

“I could’ve had an opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua, but I was out of shape, so I didn’t [take] the challenge,” Kownacki said during a conference call Tuesday to promote his fight against Chris Arreola on Saturday night. “So, from now on, I’m in boxing and that’s it. Because a title shot could come around the corner on a couple weeks’ notice, because of injuries and accidents happen.”

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After watching Ruiz upset Joshua by seventh-round technical knockout, Kownacki really regretted not taking that fight. The Polish-born, Brooklyn-bred contender doesn’t have a style similar to the more skillful Ruiz’s approach, but he now knows Joshua was vulnerable to getting knocked out that night.

“I was upset I was not in any shape,” Kownacki said. “I was not in boxing shape. I wanted the fight. It was my birthday and my wife was pregnant, so I enjoyed life a little bit. Which I regret, because boxing’s my full-time profession. And since that call came, I was like, ‘Yo, I’ve gotta get in shape and make sure that never happens again.’

“So, it was a learning lesson, which maybe stopped me from achieving my goals faster than I would have. But at the time, I wasn’t ready, so it was the right choice. … That’s what life is about. It’s about going through our experiences, learning new lessons and making sure you’re in shape. So, I’ll definitely be in shape now. And if that call comes in the near future, I’ve gotta be ready.”

The 30-year-old Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) is plenty ready to go up against Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KOs, 2 NC). Their 12-rounder will headline FOX’s tripleheader from Barclays Center in Brooklyn (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by memphis mook on 08-02-2019

No need to regret. Joshua would have wiped the floor with this dude.I guess now all of a sudden any fat guy or old cuban would have done what Andy did. Boxing fans are ****ed up in the mind.

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 08-02-2019

In the old days fighters always kept themselves ready just in case an opportunity like this came around on short notice. Today's boxers would do well to learn from their example. In this and in many other things.

Comment by vitali1999 on 08-01-2019

Liar. His excuse for not taking the fight is he says he was out of shape ? Haha. Since when is he ever in shape ? Flabby chest from hell. Ruiz is about 50 times faster than Ruiz. No matter…

Comment by Corelone on 08-01-2019

[QUOTE=MONGOOSE66;19953527]These up and comer “PROFESSIONAL” boxers are idiots. THIS IS YOUR JOB. They should be in the gym all the time. If a big fight was coming up in my weight and there was even a chance id be called.…

Comment by kraftzman on 08-01-2019

Luis Ortiz's team turned down $7 million. That's the kind of regret that would forever haunt these clowns for the rest of their lives.

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