Deontay Wilder vs. Robert Helenius: Bombs Away!

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Two of the hardest punchers in the heavyweight division will throw down tonight when Deontay Wilder and Robert Helenius square off at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, live on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View.

This Saturday, Oct. 15 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, former WBC world heavyweight champ Deontay "The Bronze Bomber'' Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) returns to the ring to face top-rated Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) in an explosive 12-round WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator.

In the co-feature of this Premier Boxing Champions event on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.), fireworks are expected as former super middleweight champ Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) meets two-time former champ Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KOs) in a 12-round WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator. 

Plant and Dirrell have been going back and forth during the lead up to this pivotal 168-point clash, stirring up bad blood and lighting the fire of what promises to be a legit grudge match. In Plant’s last bout, the Nashville, Tennessee native accounted well for himself in a blockbuster pay-per-view clash with Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez before getting stopped in the eleventh round. Flint, Michigan’s Dirrell, meanwhile, turned heads with a brutal fourth-round KO of the Year-level one-punch stoppage of Marcos Hernandez underneath the Alvarez-Plant main event.

The Story

After being stopped in the eleventh round of a hellacious battle with Tyson Fury last October, Deontay Wilder wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue on with his boxing journey. 

A statue erected in his honor in his native Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the outpouring of love and respect from the locals, however, convinced “The Bronze Bomber” that his mission was not yet complete. 

Bringing with him frightening one-punch power and an all-time heavyweight best 91.1% knockout percentage, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, who had ten world title defenses under his belt, is making his return to the ring, looking to pursue world title glory once again. 

Robert Helenius turbocharged his career with an upset fourth-round stoppage of Adam Kownacki back in March of 2020. He repeated the feat in October of 2021 on the Fury-Wilder 3 undercard when he stopped the Polish contender in six rounds.

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden by way of Mariehamn, Finland, “The Nordic Nightmare” was once a sparring partner for Wilder, but now hopes to use his former gym mate as a stepping stone to a world title. 

The Stakes

This WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator will position the winner for a shot at WBC world champ Tyson Fury. For Wilder, that means a part four of their epic rivalry.

The Matchup

Wilder’s assets as a fighter are well-known. Explosive, unorthodox, and supremely self-confident, the former world champ is all about landing a big, fight-ending kill shot. With an unflappable belief in his own power and in his ability to hurt anyone he touches, “The Bronze Bomber” carries himself like the apex boxing predator that he is. 

It remains to be seen whether the rough patches he encountered in his series with Tyson Fury have moved him to add new dimensions to his game. With or without added nuance, however, the 6-foot-7 36-year-old Wilder remains mega-dangerous. His big right hand will always be a momentum-shifting, potentially fight-stopping threat.

I am looking forward to coming to Barclays Center, a place where I have had my most devastating knockouts and a place I consider my second home. Former WBC World Heavyweight Champion - Deontay Wilder

Helenius stands nearly 6-foot-7 and employs a style one would expect from a fighter of his stature. Fighting tall and somewhat stiff, the former European heavyweight champ has an awkward approach that can often look borderline clumsy. 

The 38-year-old has a limited but effective offensive repertoire and likes to work from a distance. His best weapon is a big, whipping right hand that comes behind a heavy jab. His uppercut is also a powerful and effective asset. 

On defense, Helenius has some definite deficiencies.  Often fighting too straight up and down, he can be touched by big shots and tends to take a few while giving a few. 

The Words

Deontay Wilder

“It’s been a long journey for me. I am looking forward to coming to Barclays Center, a place where I have had my most devastating knockouts and a place I consider my second home. So where all my Bombzquad people at? It’s time to put on your war gear. And let’s go to work, baby. Bombzquad is back!”

Robert Helenius

“It’s great to be back at Barclays Center. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and I’m going to be ready. I’m going for the belt, so this is a fight to prepare me to achieve that goal. I can only become the best heavyweight in the world by beating the best and that’s what I intend to do on October 15.”

The Breakdown

Helenius’ height and reach allow him to fight effectively from a distance, something which has been his biggest advantage through his career. That edge will be null and void against Wilder, who is a half-inch taller and will sport a four-inch reach advantage. 

Although it’s pretty clear that Wilder will have the physical edge in this title eliminator, plenty of intangibles lurk over this contest. Among the biggest will center on Wilder’s ability to come back, both mentally and physically, after a pair of brutal stoppages at the hands of Tyson Fury. 

Both fighters are awkward, stand-up bangers, so there’s almost zero chance of this one NOT becoming a sloppy slugfest at some point. Given the one-punch power both have, there’s also a very high probability of this contest ending via KO. That means, to a great extent, this could be anyone’s fight at any moment. 

The question in this bout centers around who will get to who first. Helenius is riding high on back-to-back career-best victories. Wilder is looking to rebuild from the ruins of back-to-back disasters that nearly pushed him to retirement. With career momentum clearly in Helenius’ favor, could just a split-second of doubt or hesitance be the former champ’s downfall? 

Whatever happens, however this fight plays out, Wilder vs. Helenius is guaranteed to be fun and explosive. 

For a closer look at Wilder vs Helenius, check out our fight night page. 

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