By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Adam Kownacki proved yet again Saturday night that looks can be very deceiving.
The popular Polish heavyweight barely needed four minutes to blow out Gerald Washington in the second of three fights FOX televised from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. His quick victory was perhaps the most impressive of Kownacki’s 10-year pro career, even though Washington was stopped twice prior to their fight.
“I trained hard for this fight,” Kownacki said. “I prepared for 10 hard rounds, but I’m glad I got it done and ended it as fast as I did. … We stuck with the game plan. I’m a pressure fighter. I worked on sitting down on my punches and I proved that I have great power when I do that.”
The ever-active Kownacki swarmed the bigger, sculpted Washington as soon as the opening bell rang.
The 6-feet-3 Kownacki, known for his loose midsection and high work rate, connected with numerous flush punches during an action-packed first round. He hurt Washington with a straight right hand very late in the first round, which left Washington stumbling backward.
The former USC football player survived that trouble, but he couldn’t last much longer.
Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) pounced on the 6-feet-6, 243-pound Washington as soon as the second round started as well. A right hand by Kownacki knocked down Washington 37 seconds into the second round.
A disoriented Washington made it to his feet, but Kownacki wouldn’t give him any time to recover. A flurry of subsequent punches by Kownacki forced referee Harvey Dock to step in and stop the one-sided action.
The time of the stoppage was 1:09 of the second round.
The 29-year-old Kownacki’s surprisingly swift win sent his army of loud, proud Polish fans into a frenzy. As they chanted his name, Kownacki motioned to place a belt around his waist – a message that he wants a shot at WBC champion Deontay Wilder later this year.
“It’s amazing to have this support from the Polish fans,” Kownacki said. “It definitely gives me extra energy.”
Washington, 36, lost for the third time in his past four fights. Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), contender Jarrell Miller (23-0, 20 KOs), who’s one of Kownacki’s closest friends, and Kownacki now have knocked out Washington.
It took Wilder until the fifth round to beat Washington by TKO nearly two years ago in Birmingham, Alabama. Washington’s corner men stopped the Miller match following the eighth round in July 2017 at Barclays Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing