Saturday night live from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn NY, PBC and Fox brought us a quality card headlined by heavyweights Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola with a light heavyweight co-feature consisting of Marcus Browne taking on Jean Pascal. While many including myself didn’t have high expectations for this event considering both Pascal and Arreola are well past their primes, the event proved to be one of the best PBC cards of 2019.
There was no one who could have predicted what would happen between Adam Kownacki and Chris Arreola, the undefeated Kownacki in his last four fights defeated two former world title challengers and former world champion. As for Arreola the 38 year old former title challenger had been fairly inactive since being stopped by WBC heavyweight belt holder Deontay Wilder in 2016. On paper at least this appeared no more than a showcase bout for Kownacki as he continues his quest at gaining a world title opportunity.
The bout started with Arreola moving his head and being defensively responsible, a trait he has been criticized for not doing throughout his career. When Kownacki closed the distance he started to land his uppercut inside snapping Arreola’s head backwards.
It would be then Arreola showed he still had something left in his tank because his punch output would increase matching Kownacki blow for blow even landing the harder shots.
The two fighters fought a brutal grueling pace for the entire twelve rounds, there was not an ounce of give in either man at any moment. When all was said and done despite a great performance by Arreola the difference in this bout was Kownacki always coming forward even after taking big punches from Arreola.
The final scores would read 117-111 twice and 118-110 all in favor of Adam Kownacki who improved to 20-0 (15) while Chris Arreola drops to 38-6-1(33). Those scorecards were unfair to Arreola, while I agree the right man won it was a much closer margin and did not reflect what a great effort Arreola put in while breaking the record for the most punches ever thrown by a heavyweight in one fight 1125. The duo together broke the record for both combined punches thrown 2172 and landed 689 in a heavyweight contest.
When light heavyweights Marcus Browne and Jean Pascal stepped in to meet for the WBC silver and WBA interim titles, there were few if anyone who thought the undefeated Browne would not emerge victorious. He had scored the biggest win of his career over former two division Badou Jack in January and only needed to get past the aging inactive former champion Pascal to do so.
We would see nothing from Jean Pascal early on to alter that opinion, Pascal had issues with closing the distance due to Browne keeping him at bay with his jab. In rounds two and three not only was Browne able to control the distance with his jab, Jean Pascal seemed unable to throw more than one punch at a time until a leaping hook in the fourth dropped Browne to the canvas.
The former champion despite scoring a knockdown, unable to capitalize on a stunned Browne was out boxed by in the fifth and sixth rounds. At the start of round seven, Jean pascal looked like a tired faded fighter until he once again dropped Browne with a wide right hook to the head. This time unlike the fourth Pascal was able to follow up and capitalize on the moment when another big hook placed Browne on the canvas for the third time.
With three knockdowns suffered, Browne gained his composure and went back to using his jab to maintain distance then Pascal leaping in for another attempt at landing the hook would clash heads with Browne opening up a massive cut which forced referee Gary Rosado to halt the action.
The fight would go to the scorecards and despite Marcus Browne clearly out boxing Jean Pascal the three knockdowns would cost him the fight by scores of 75-74 on all three Judges Cards. With the win Jean Pascal now the WBC silver and WBA interim light heavyweight champion improved to 34-6-1(20), Marcus Browne in his first defeat drops to 23-1(16).
The televised opener was a junior middleweight contest between former world title challenger Curtis Stevens and veteran Wale Omotoso, fighting only a combined three times in as many years it didn’t take long before learning which man was affected most by their inactivity.
In the first round Omotoso would place Stevens on the canvas with a right to the head that while not appearing to be overly hard, he never fully recovered from. While Stevens gave an honest effort anything Omotoso landed appeared to do damage. There was a knockdown scored by Omotoso in the second round and with nothing coming in return from Stevens offensively afterwards, a third round knockdown was enough for referee Johnny Callas to halt the contest at 1:28 of round three.
With the win Wale Omotoso improved to 28-4 (22), Curtis Stevens now stands at 30-7 (22).
In Undercard action
Heavyweight- Brian Howard 15-3 (12) def. Carlos Negron 20-3 (16) via KO 1
Featherweight- Cobia Breedy 14-0 (4) def. Ryan Lee Allen 10-4-1(5) via UD 10.
Welterweight- Brian Jones 15-10 (9) def. Julian Sosa 13-1-1(5) via TKO 5
Featherweight- Helen Joseph 16-3-2 (10) def. Edina Kiss 15-11 (9) via UD 6
Heavyweight- Marsellos Wilder 5-1(2) def. Nicoy Clarke 2-4 via UD 4.
Junior Middleweight- Kestna Davis 4-0 def. Jaime Meza 0-3 via UD 4