Duhaupas, Molina impress with heavyweight KO’s in Europe

Johann Duhaupas put himself in within reach of another crack at Deontay Wilder with a crushing knockout of previously undefeated Robert Helenius in Finland.

The 35 year-old Frenchman made it two successive victories since a gutsy loss to Wilder last September and picked up the WBC silver title into the bargain.

From the very beginning of the fight, there was a knockout feeling hanging over the competitors as they slugged it out toe-to-toe at will. By the sixth round though, it was the home fighter who was feeling it more and Duhaupas sensed he could capitalize by aiming squarely for Helenius’ chin.

The proved to be the case as a crunching shot sent a bloodied and tired Helenius to the canvas and there was no coming back for the ‘Nordic Nightmare’ to the shock of his fans.

With the win, Duhaupas can now boast a 34-3 record and potentially move on to facing the winner of Wilder v Povetkin taking place in May. Helenius drops to 22-1 and faces a rebuilding job.

In Poland, another of Wilder’s recent foes, Eric Molina got back into contention as he too scored back-to-back wins since being halted by ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in the summer of 2015.

Molina – like Duhaupas, made Wilder’s victories look all the more impressive as the Texan leathered Tomasz Adamek with a hurtful knockout in the tenth round of their meeting in Krakow.

‘Drummer Boy’ had too much strength and guile for Adamek and finished the fight with a punch that would have given any heavyweight in the world a problem if it connected flush.

The 33 year-old picked up a fringe version of the IBF belt and will now hold a handy ranking with the organisation, whose title is up for grabs on April 9 when champion Charles Martin defends against Anthony Joshua.