Hired to “be” Tyson Fury a few months ago and spar with former WBC champion Deontay Wilder for Wilder’s third go around with Fury, reportedly, Robert Helenius did pretty well. Check out the top boxing odds.
“Sparring someone and fighting when it counts are two different things,” said Wilder during a virtual interview last week. “Sparring is more of a practice. If Robert feels that he’s going to be able to match my showmanship, then I have to take his word for it. It will bring more excitement to the fight.”
As well as Helenius did, his efforts weren’t enough. Wilder floored Fury twice but ran out of gas – falling to Fury in seven brutal rounds. Both fighters showed guts and resolve, but Fury will always be the better boxer.
Wilder contemplated retirement but changed his mind.
“Seeing the statue made for me in Alabama is what brought me back,” Wilder said. “My accomplishments are set in stone. But being there and seeing the people supporting me made me feel like there’s more I can do.”
His opponent of choice is Helenius, who looked to be done three years ago after being stopped by journeyman Gerald Washington. The “Nordic Nightmare” wasn’t very scary.
Helenius stopped Mateus Roberto Oscario and stayed away from the ring for a while before returning to face rising heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki. Nobody expected Helenius to win.
Kownacki was one win away from a shot at heavyweight championship honors.
Kownacki was confident. Maybe too confident. He did well early against Helenius. The Swede boxed and absorbed some blows – and stayed upright.
Feeling confident, Helenius buzzed Kownacki and knocked him down in round four. The fight was officially over a few seconds later.
A rematch went down seven months later. Kownacki was again favored. Helenius tagged Kownack early and often, again winning by stoppage.
“Beating Kownacki was key to me, and I know that without those victories, I would not be here,” said Helenius.
But can he beat Wilder? The oddsmakers don’t think so – installing Wilder a 9-1 favorite.
|Method of victory||Deontay Wilder||Robert Helenius|
|Win by KO, TKO or DQ||-350||+1200|
|Win by decision||+650||+800|
“I like being the underdog, ” Helenius said. “It wakes me up a little bit. I know that I have to concentrate fully and be the best version of myself. Of course, there’s still some pressure, but that’s what comes with being in such an important fight.”
Wilder is a limited fighter. His powerful right has often saved him (see both Luis Ortiz fights).
“It’s tough to say if I felt Deontay’s power in sparring because of the headgear and bigger gloves,” said Helenius. “I think it’s more about his speed. Some people punch with a lot of force, but I think his best attribute is explosiveness.”
To win, Helenius will have to put away the sparring partner’s mentality and fight aggressively. Be the boss in there and force Wilder to give ground. (Like Fury did) Two problems. Helenius is more counter puncher than slugger, and his chin can be shaky. Check out the top Boxing betting sites.
Wilder sounds motivated.
“This is an exciting time. I’m really looking forward to October 15th at Barclays Center,” said Wilder. “Even though we know each other well, make no mistake, when it’s time to turn it on, the fans are going to leave with another memorable moment.”
Look for Wilder to win by stoppage.
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