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Martin: Kownacki Was Pretty F--ked Up; Don’t Know If He Can Come Back From Loss

Charles Martin likes and respects Adam Kownacki.

The former IBF heavyweight champion hopes Kownacki can come back and thrive after suffering a fourth-round, technical-knockout loss to Robert Helenius two months ago. After what Martin witnessed from a ringside seat March 7, he simply isn’t sure that’ll be possible for a previously undefeated fighter who has beaten him.

“I don’t know, man,” Martin told “I don’t know. He was pretty f--ked up. He was pretty bad. He got knocked down the first time, and then he got up too quick. He was already hurt, and then he went down again with the boom! Boom! Boom! The 1-2-3. He knocked him down again. He got up, but then he was just beating him into submission. That wasn’t a good thing for him. He took a lot of punches.”

Brooklyn’s Kownacki (20-1, 15 KOs) was heavily favored to defeat Finland’s Helenius entering a fight FOX aired from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Helenius (30-3, 19 KOs) knocked Kownacki to the canvas twice in the fourth round, when their scheduled 12-rounder was stopped because a defenseless Kownacki was taking unnecessary punishment.

kownacki-helenius-fight (188)

Kownacki’s chin had been one of his best attributes during a run that included victories over Artur Szpilka, Iago Kiladze, Martin, Gerald Washington and Chris Arreola.

“He caught him with that counter punch,” Martin said, referring to Helenius. “It was two counter punches, back-to-back. His punches, he had that snap on them. You know what I mean? He was snapping them. That hurts. He was breaking his ass down. He had to back up in that first round. He had to back up a little bit, like, ‘Yo, this ain’t no average Joe.’ Because usually he tries to walk everybody down. But Helenius, he was throwing them punches. He was snapping ‘em.”

Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) and Kownacki went back and forth throughout an all-action 10-round battle Kownacki won by unanimous decision in September 2018 at Barclays Center. Kownacki won that fan-friendly fight by the same score, 96-94, on all three cards.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Martin said of Kownacki’s loss to Helenius. “It was just because I was off for a long time [before fighting Kownacki]. It’s just a different thing because the counter punch is everything. When you’re catching guys in between these shots, that’s what really hurts a man. You can pummel a guy and beat him up all you want, but if they’re bracing for it, you know, it’s fine if you can see it.

“[Helenius] did an awesome job. Helenius is a big dude, a big man that can punch. So, anything is possible. He went out there and showed that on that night. It was spectacular.”

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

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by champion4ever on 05-28-2020

[QUOTE=theface07;20582176]It definitely did, I mean they broke punch stats. Even though I admit I enjoyed watching it, you can only be a rock 'em sock 'em robot for so long until it takes its toll. Being an offense first fighter…

Comment by Mooshashi on 05-28-2020

I felt bad for Kownacki...came in with a lot on his mind and shoulders. New kid, big payday if he wins, big Polish turnout for their hero....and he gets KTFO. He may be in a Wilder-like mental funk now. He…

Comment by theface07 on 05-28-2020

[QUOTE=champion4ever;20577821] Martin's absolutely correct in his assessment. Adam is done as a top 15 contender. He's a gatekeeper status now. That Cris Arreola fight must've taken more out of him than we had all originally expected.[/QUOTE] It definitely did, I…

Comment by Squ□redCircle34 on 05-27-2020

[QUOTE=jonnyc420;20579433]You are lying through your teeth or not a true fan of the sport. Fury did nothing more than what any other boxer does in the ring. You are a couch potato watching videos made by Wilder fans and using…

Comment by jonnyc420 on 05-26-2020

[QUOTE=Squ□redCircle34;20578780]Lol you talk to me like I’m a huge Wilder fan, I picked Fury to beat him and I even called it all the way down the middle how it actually happened so you can shove the sitting pretty on…

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