WATCH: Adam Kownacki, Charles Martin media day workouts
NEW YORK – Even before fight night, Adam Kownacki and Charles Martin present a distinct contrast of styles.
Kownacki, shorter and fuller-bodied, wears a red and white shirt, the colors of his native Poland, as he steps in to punch the mitts held by trainer Keith Trimble. Kownacki sports a shaved bald head and 5 o’clock shadow beard, and would hardly turn a head if he walked down the street outside Gleason’s Gym.
Martin, who stands 6’5″ – 7′ with dreadlock bun included – would have no such anonymity if he stepped out onto Water Street in his workout attire. The St. Louis native, who once declared “I walk this earth like a God”, walked the ring wearing boxer shorts over a pair of long johns during his brief appearance at Wednesday’s media workout.
Their style clash may be even greater this Saturday when they meet in the opening bout of this Saturday’s broadcast on Showtime, live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The card is headlined by the vacant WBC welterweight title clash between Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
Kownacki (17-0, 14 knockouts) is an all-out, seek-and-destroy brawler who keeps a high work rate and heavy right hand, while the former IBF heavyweight titleholder Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) is a southpaw counterpuncher who does his best work against opponents coming after him.
“Martin is a big, strong fighter who’s a very good counter puncher. He kind of mixes different styles, but I’ll be prepared for everything he can bring to the ring,” said Kownacki, who is three years younger at 29.
Martin had a rollercoaster 2016 which saw him win the vacant title belt when Vyacheslav Glazkov went down in round three with a knee injury, but lost the title three months later when Anthony Joshua dropped him with a right hand in two rounds.
“Kownacki is a good fighter. He’s very tough. There are some things we’ve worked on in the gym and we feel prepared for whatever he brings on Saturday,” said Martin.
“I have the advantage everywhere over Kownacki. I’m just a better fighter but I’m also bigger and stronger.”
Martin won two quick stoppages in 2017 but hasn’t fought since last July after an appearance on the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz card in March fell through.
Against Kownacki, who is rated no. 10 by The Ring at heavyweight, Martin has an opportunity to reassert himself as a contender in the division.
“When I’m at my best, nobody can beat me. There’s no one in the world who can beat the best version of Charles Martin. I’m the only one that can beat me,” said Martin.