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Kownacki to face Arreola in Aug. 3 tripleheader

Heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki will face three-time world title challenger Chris Arreola in a battle of brawlers on Aug. 3, Premier Boxing Champions announced Thursday.

The 12-round fight will headline a PBC card (Fox and Fox Deportes, 8 p.m. ET) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Kownacki, a native of Poland who is based in New York, is a big draw.

Kownacki had been in line for a shot at world titleholder Deontay Wilder in early 2020. However, Wilder announced that as long as he gets past his rematch with Luis "King Kong" Ortiz this fall, he would instead next face lineal champion Tyson Fury -- assuming Fury defeats Tom Schwarz on June 15 -- in early 2020.

Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) is on a strong four-fight run in which the 30-year-old has defeated former world titlist Charles Martin, former challengers Artur Szpilka and Gerald Washington, and rugged Iago Kiladze to put himself in position for a title fight.

"Fighting Chris Arreola will be another step on my journey to become a world champion," Kownacki said. "It will be a Polish-Mexican war that will bring fireworks to Brooklyn."

Arreola (38-5-1, 33 KOs), 38, of Riverside, California, has lost to Wilder, Vitali Klitschko and Bermane Stiverne in world title fights. After getting stopped by Wilder in the eighth round in July 2016, Arreola was out of action for 2½ years.

He returned in December 2018 and has won two fights in a row by knockout, including against then-unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin in March on the Errol Spence Jr.-Mikey Garcia pay-per-view undercard.

"I can't wait to step into the ring on Aug. 3 and show everyone I'm still one of the best heavyweights in the world," Arreola said. "I feel rejuvenated and ready to upset Adam Kownacki in front of his fans. He better be ready because I'm going to bring it to him like he's never seen before. This is going to be a war, and I will leave with my hand raised."

There will be two other bouts on the telecast, with former two-time welterweight world titlist Andre Berto taking on Miguel Cruz in the 10-round co-feature and interim light heavyweight titlist Marcus Browne making his first defense against former world champion Jean Pascal in the opener.

Berto (32-5, 24 KOs), 35, of Winter Haven, Florida, will be fighting for the first time in one year since winning a split decision over former titlist Devon Alexander this past August.

"My focus is different, my motivation is different and my hunger is different," Berto said. "I've had a lot happen in my life in a short period of time with the loss of my father and the birth of my new baby girl, Legaci. It's definitely turned me into a whole different type of animal. Aug. 3 is going to be cinematic. Barclays Center -- see you soon. I've got some payback."

In the fight before he defeated Alexander, Berto suffered a ninth-round knockout loss to Shawn Porter in April 2017.

Cruz (18-1, 12 KOs), 28, of Lake Mary, Florida, is stepping up in competition against Berto. The only other time he faced a name opponent, he lost a 10-round decision to Josesito Lopez 14 months ago.

"This is a different era in boxing, and I'm here to prove it to the world and to Andre Berto," Cruz said.

Browne (23-0, 16 KOs), 28, a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Staten Island, New York, claimed a vacant interim belt by one-sided decision against former titlist Badou Jack in January on the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner card and now will face faded former titlist Pascal.

"I anticipate Pascal bringing everything that he has into this fight because this is make-or-break for him," said Browne, who will be fighting at Barclays Center for the 13th time. "Unfortunately for him, he will break, as I plan to win this fight decisively and continue my quest for a long and successful championship reign."

Pascal (33-6-1, 20 KOs), 36, of Montreal, is well past his best days and coming off a one-sided decision loss challenging Dmitry Bivol for his light heavyweight title in November, but he believes he has one more title run in him.

"Marcus Browne is one of the most talented fighters in the world, and I will have to be at my best to beat him," Pascal said. "I've been training, and I will be ready. I've got some veteran tricks he's never seen before. I plan on outboxing him just like every other southpaw I've ever fought. I've never lost to a lefty, and it's going to stay that way come Aug. 3.''