A new name was added to the Deontay Wilder comeback shortlist as Adam Kownacki lost the opportunity for a Brooklyn battle.
World Boxing News reported that Kownacki was a consideration for Wilder’s return to New York later this year.
Deontay Wilder shortlist
But Kownacki’s defeat at the hands of Ali Eren Demirezen puts his opponent in with a chance instead of him. Wilder is eyeing up a Brooklyn or Las Vegas return, with the latter now more of a favorite due to Kownacki’s terrible form.
In the co-main event of Danny Garcia vs. Jose Benavidez, the Turkish Olympian scored a career-best victory via a unanimous decision (97-93 twice, 96-94) over Polish star and Brooklyn fan-favorite after ten rounds of heavyweight action.
“I truly love fighting in the U.S., and I love New York, so I said before you will see me more,” said Demirezen.
“I was nervous because he’s a strong fighter, and I could have been much better, but it’s my first time here, and he’d fought here before.”
Ali Eren Demirezen
In his 11th fight at Barclays Center, Kownacki rode the urging of his hometown fans to a fast start as he targeted Demirezen’s body frequently in round one.
As the bout progressed, Demirezen flipped the script and ended up being the more aggressive fighter, throwing 915 punches to Kownacki’s 851 while landing 239 power punches compared to Kownacki’s 186.
After back-to-back losses to Robert Helenius, Kownacki had hoped to return to the win column and back to his standing amongst the heavyweight contenders [including Deontay Wilder]. But he was turned back by the determined Demirezen, who stopped Gerald Washington in January.
“I’m a bit rusty. I think he was getting off first in the exchanges. But I didn’t sit down as much, and I think the rust played a part, being out so long,” said Kownacki.
“I was out of the ring since last October. The camp was good. But I don’t know. I was letting him get off first. I wasn’t moving my feet. But I returned to the old me instead of the first few rounds when I was doing good.
“I have two kids. I’ll have a long talk with my wife to see what I want to do. I’ve had so many fights here, so many great memories. I don’t want to go out like a loser. I want another fight to leave my fans with a win.”
In round ten, Kownacki, with blood dripping from his left eye, again was able to bring his legion of fans to their feet as he put together a courageous effort in rocking Demirezen with a right hand. He forced Demirezen to fight on his back foot temporarily.
“However, Demirezen recovered to win the round and sweep the last two rounds on all three cards to clinch the victory.
“I promised everyone a war, and that’s what the people got,” said Demirezen. “But I beat him in his hometown. I want to be an inspiration and a role model for Turkish youngsters watching this fight. I hope I made them proud.”
Demirezen is in the sweepstakes alongside Robert Helenius and Frank Sanchez for Deontay Wilder’s return later in 2022.