The Nordic Nightmare Robert Helenius (31-3) heads into what he describes as the ‘The biggest fight of my career’ in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV. The Finnish heavyweight takes on the former WBC champion Deontay Wilder (42-2-1) next month at The Barclays Centre, Brooklyn. Wilder’s first fight back since back-to-back defeats to Tyson Fury.
“We have been talking to Wilder’s team from around February. Then it got locked in this summer, they have made this a WBC eliminator too. I’ve been hunting for a world championship fight for a long time, this is great opportunity to shine and get a shot.
“I have watched his fights with Tyson Fury, but each fight is separate so I’m not looking into it that much. Even though he lost, he is not a bad boxer all of a sudden. I have a deep respect for him, I was sparring with him for a couple of camps. I know him personally, he is a good guy. But now he just happens to be the guy standing in my way to get a world championship fight. I need to beat him.”
The occasion is huge, life changing infact. A chance to step in the ring with the vey elite of the heavyweight division. But tucked away on the Finnish island of Åland in training camp, The Nordic Nightmare appeared composed and confident about the prospect of squaring off with Deontay Wilder next month.
“I tend not to blow things out of proportion because I’ve had 250 fights in the amateurs, lots of them being championship fights. In my professional career you can go back to 2010 and I’ve been in lots of big fights with the likes of Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter, (Siarhei) Liakhovich and others. This is just another one of them.
“I think in this fight that the only way to go is to be more aggressive. Wilder has a really sharp right hand, but he isn’t that effective in throwing the right hand when he is on the back-foot. Tyson Fury showed the world the playbook on how to beat Deontay Wilder.”
Robert Helenius comes off back-to-back stoppage wins over Adam Kownacki, having turned around his PBC co-operation which started with a knockout loss to Gerald Washington in 2019.
“Well the rematch with Kownacki was in the contract (from the first fight), we didn’t think he was going to use it at first. Then he used it. Ideally I would have liked a higher ranked fight, but it doesn’t matter, It was on a good show and I left no doubt with my performance.”
Helenius’s recent career best performances would suggest a harmonious picture behind the scenes, however it has not been as smooth as things would appear.
“I would have hoped for much more frequent fights. If you look at the two Kownacki fights, I think there was around 18 months difference between. And now this fight with Wilder, it will have been twelve months since I have been in the ring.
“However, I am in great form at the moment. I do have very good strength and conditioning though, so it may have helped. I’ve had no choice to stay very busy in the gym. Last fight got moved a lot, so I just had to wait in training camp.”