For six minutes Saturday night at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY, heavyweight Adam Kownacki fought as well. He nailed Ali Eren Demirezen with hooks to the body and shots to the head.
They weren’t flashy or awe-inspiring, but they landed and gave Kownacki’s fans reasons to cheer. Check out the top sports betting sites for betting on boxing.
There was something else, though.
And it wasn’t good.
Though being strafed by blows from the 251-pound Kownacki, Demirezen had barely blinked.
Kownacki had looked nervous before the opening bell. Understandable. His career was on the line. He couldn’t afford to lose for the third consecutive time. Kownacki came into the bout having scored 15 knockouts in 20 fights. He’s not a particularly heavy puncher, but he’s busy and accurate.
Demirezen stared at Kownacki and punched back. Many of the blows landed against his defensively challenged opponent. Then in round three, Demirezen flipped the script – unleashing a two-fisted attack. A sneaky uppercut and straight right hand found pay dirt.
He got off first in round four – landing several headshots. Kownacki fought back with a pretty left to the liver. Demirezen remained impassive and determined. Both fighters landed left hooks and right hands.
The back and forth continued in round five. Kownacki landed a right but ate two jabs and a counter right. Seconds later, he fired a four-punch combo. Three of the blows landed. He stabbed Kownacki with jabs.
Kownacki’s face was puffy. His corner ripped him for dropping his hands. The fight was still close, but the tide was rolling Demirezen’s way.
In round six, Demirezen forced Kownacki into the ropes and let his hands go. Kownacki absored the blows. The guy can take it. Demirezen bored in and punched. He was outworking Kownacki, who did score with the old one-two.
A big right appeared to buzz Kownacki momentarily. The heavyweights landed more jaw shots in round seven. They weren’t big, but they were landing consistently. Kownacki scored with a double left hook and right hand at the bell.
Kownacki, likely sensing he was falling behind, came out throwing in the early stages of round eight. Demirezen’s mouth was open. He was tired, but his jab was still effective. Demirezen was back in control in round nine. He tattooed Kownacki’s face with several right hands. One knocked Kownacki into the ropes.
In the 10th and final round, Demirezen cuffed Kownacki with a left. Demirezen fired what else, the right, it landed. He fired it again.
Demirezen popped Kownacki with blows. Blood near Kownacki’s left eye was blinding him, but there was no quit in the big man. He let his hands go – landing several blows. Demirezen stopped the momentum – staggering Kownacki with a hard right seconds before the final bell.
As the judges scores were read, Kownacki held up his right hand. Deep down, he had to have known he’d lost, but hope runs eternal.
“I love fighting in the United States, “said Demirezen (17-1, 12 KOs).
He’s tough, but against a faster heavyweight, he won’t last.
Kownacki,33, had hinted before the fight if he lost, he’d retire. Check out the best new bookmakers for betting on boxing.
He couldn’t say the words.
“I have to have a long talk with my wife,” Kownacki said. “I certainly don’t want to go out this.”
I don’t blame him, but after three straight punishing losses, the light at the end of the tunnel appears extinguished.
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