ALI EREN DEMIREZEN – “I’m so happy to be here in New York. I understand I’m facing an experienced fighter coming off losses, but I’m here to win as well. My goal is to not give him a chance to beat me.
“I’m here for a battle. I’m expecting the fans who watch this fight to come ready to see a war for as long as it lasts.
“This is a very important fight for me. This fight can get me into the top 10 and to the fight with the world champions.
“This is a chance for me to step up. I’m so happy to be here in the U.S. It’s every boxer’s dream to fight in the U.S. and I’m going to make the most of it.
“I’m not worried that I’m fighting in my opponents’ hometown. I feel that I’m known enough that I’m going to be treated fairly and I’ll be able to execute my game plan on Saturday.”
ADAM KOWNACKI – “It means everything to be back here. I’m focused and I can’t wait to get a knockout victory and then go see my family in Poland
“I don’t come to play, I come to fight. I’m trying to break my own record with punches thrown. I’m here to fight, welcome to Brooklyn Ali.
“I’m facing an Olympian. He’s a tough guy. He likes to keep coming forward just like I do. I know he has a strong chin. He beat a good heavyweight in Gerald Washington. He stopped him. So this is definitely going to be a tough test.
“I’m going to have the same strategy as always. Come forward and try to stop him. Welcome to Brooklyn, baby. I don’t like to make predictions, but I don’t see this going the distance. I want to come back with a bang and stop him.
“Right now, I’m just focused on Ali. I can’t look past him because he can mess with all my plans. Right now, I’m just looking forward to knocking him out.
“Fighting at Barclays is always quite an experience. For anybody who hasn’t witnessed it, you’ve got to experience it. Get your ticket. There are going to be a lot of red shirts making a lot of noise on Saturday. It’s going to be a fun night.”
Two-division world champion and Brooklyn fan-favorite Danny “Swift” Garcia will make his super welterweight debut against exciting contender Jose Benavidez Jr. in a 12-round showdown that headlines a stacked tripleheader Saturday, July 30 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also see Polish star and Brooklyn’s all-action Adam Kownacki returning to the ring to take on Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen in a 10-round heavyweight attraction, while unbeaten rising star Gary Antuanne Russell faces two-division champion Rances Barthelemy in a 10-round showdown to kick off the telecast.
The 33-year-old Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) returns to the friendly confines of Barclays Center where he has previously fought 10 times, compiling a 9-1 record with five knockouts. Born in Lomza, Poland before moving to Brooklyn when he was seven, Kownacki will step back into the ring after dropping a pair of explosive, fan-friendly fights to Robert Helenius. He owns victories over former world champion Charles Martin and former title challengers Gerald Washington and Chris Arreola. His August 2019 battle against Arreola set CompuBox records for heavyweights in combined power punches thrown and landed.
“I’m very excited to be back in the ring, especially back home in Brooklyn at Barclays Center,” said Kownacki. “I’m ready to show the world that Robert Helenius just caught me at a complicated time in my life, where juggling being a new father and a fighter was a new experience and learning how to manage both was something I needed to learn how to do. For this fight, my family went away to Poland while I’m in camp so I could only focus on boxing. It was a difficult decision to make, but the right one. Demirezen is coming off a couple big wins, so I know he will bring his ‘A’ game, but I need to beat him to be back in the heavyweight mix. Our fight on July 30 will be action-packed with my hand being raised in victory.”
A 2016 Olympian for Turkey, Demirezen (16-1, 12 KOs) has fought out of Hamburg, Germany in the professional ranks since turning pro in late 2016. The 32-year-old won his first 11 pro fights, including a second-round stoppage of Rad Rashid to capture a European heavyweight title in 2018. Demirezen’s first U.S. outing came in 2019, when he became the first person to go the distance against Efe Ajagba, losing by decision. Since that defeat, Demirezen has scored five-straight victories, including defeating former title challengers Gerald Washington in January and Kevin Johnson in May.
“I’m very happy to fight in the U.S. again on July 30,” said Demirezen. “After my big win in Miami [in January], I’m very confident I’m going to give everyone a great fight in Brooklyn. I’m ready for anything Adam Kownacki brings to the ring and I want to make a big statement with a win over him.”