By: Robert Aaron Contreras
On Saturday, August 3, PBC on FOX was due for a tripleheader from the Barclays Centers in Brooklyn, New York where a trio of big names would have carefully matched opponents in front of them.
Now with former welterweight champion Andre Berto out, Adam Kownacki, who takes on Chris Arreola, and light heavyweight beltholder Marcus Browne, fighting Jean Pascal, are bolstering the bill on their own.
The FOX broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET.
Adam Kownacki vs. Chris Arreola
Kownacki is more than familiar with the Barclays Center, having been born in Poland but becoming a man in Brooklyn. He competed there eight times on his way to this pivotal moment, his first headliner on such a grand stage.
And despite no championship belt on the line, his hometown backing puts him and Arreola in the main event.
The 30-year-old Kownacki (19-0, 15 KO) is a banger, always looking to string together chippy punches from every angle. His appearance earned him the nickname Babyface. He has compiled a nice resume, one of B-level talent like Artur Szpilka and a former beltholder in Charles Martin, putting him in line to take a crack at the world level sooner rather than later. In January of this year, he jumped Gerald Washington—again on primetime FOX.
The Polish puncher took out Washington in under four minutes. Quicker work than even Deontay Wilder had with Washington. Kownacki could beat Wilder’s KO mark again if he takes Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KO) out in less than eight rounds.
Arreola, 38, took a lumping from Wilder, who injured his dominate hand, and didn’t make it out of the corner for the ninth period. It was title opportunities like that that make Arreola
arguably Kownacki’s most notable opponent, even if that doesn’t mean the best.
Arreola is back mainstream TV for reasons that are hard to understand outside of simply being a heavyweight. One who used to have a good chin. But one that can punch a little and fights in the same mold as his younger counterpart.
He has never shied away from the spotlight. His is a spotty record since being promoted as possible the man to claim that notional title of first Mexican heavyweight champion before being easily stamped out by Vitali Klitschko. He relied on that heritage and slapdash soundbites to keep him in business and eventually a mainstay with the PBC.
Marcus Browne vs. Jean Pascal
WBA champion Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KO) is one of a quartet of remarkably talented light heavyweight champions. With Artur Beterbiev scheduled to unify two belts with Gvozdyk, the American of the bunch it could be said is fighting them as much as he is Jean Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KO), to the extent tat as they are all compared against each other for recognition of the true 175-pound kingpin.
Pascal, 36, was once the lineal light heavyweight ruler. That was a decade ago. Still in the Year of Our Lord 2019 this weekend will mark the second consecutive world title challenge for Pascal, of Canada. Despite falling way short against an operator like Dmitry Bivol, the respected former champ has the pull and reputation to remain relevant in the title picture.
Browne, Staten Island’s own, was on big promoter’s wishlist coming out of the London Olympics. He has spent time with Golden Boy Promotions and like many other East Coast talent thriving under Lou DiBella for a stint. Browne’s highlight being a first-round knockout of longstanding gatekeeper Gabriel Campillo
Fighting out of New York, Browne signed with Golden Boy out of the London Olympics. But soon like most east coast fighters, he thrived under Lou Dibella. The highlight being a first-round thumping of longstanding gatekeeper Gabriel Campilloin 2015. But a fickle decision over puncher Radivoje Kalajdzic that left a sour taste in the mouth of fight fans who then became ready to scrutinize Browne as an overhyped prospect. His reoccurring legal trouble were no help.
Browne eventually stomped Thomas Williams Jr. in six rounds as well as the previously undefeated Sean Monagham, also of New York. Now campaigning with Al Haymon’s crew, Browne can boast an incredible win over Badou Jack, a star-making unanimous decision victory.
Still undefeated and untouched, Browne can only hurt himself this weekend. No matter how ferociously he takes out a reputable veteran like Pascal, the Canadian is a shell of his former self—hardly throwing punches these days. The matchup pales in comparison to a delectable unification like Beterbiev-Gvozdyk.
Browne should keep an eye out on the winner.