Wilder vs Helenius – Finnish brute Robert Helenius heads into a clash with Deontay Wilder at Barclays Center, the 6/1 underdog.
This could be a huge misrepresentation for what will be a test for Wilder, the former WBC heavyweight champion.
How much does Deontay Wilder have left?
Before back-to-back defeats against Tyson Fury, Wilder may well have been an even bigger favorite. However, nobody knows just how much damage “The Gypsy King” really did to “The Bronze Bomber.”
We won’t know that until the first bell rings in Brooklyn.
“The Nordic Nightmare” can walk you down and hurt you continually. This fact alone could see Wilder taking punishment if he cannot land that one shot to keep Helenius off.
Despite many seeing the fight as a “warm-up,” it’s certainly not that. And while Helenius is in the ring, he’s a live threat to Wilder.
Saturday night will be a huge indicator of what Deontay Wilder has left. How much does he want to win the WBC heavyweight title eliminator in the main event?
Earning a shot at Andy Ruiz Jr. for the chance to battle the real true king Fury for the fourth time is on the line. Facing Fury again represents another massive payday for the Alabama slammer.
The fight comes months after Wilder decided to avoid retirement following the unveiling of a statue in his hometown of Tuscaloosa.
Wilder vs Helenius is no easy fight
But Helenius won’t be a pushover. He proved this against Adam Kownacki in the first fight and the rematch.
The former European champion is sure he can make a dent in Wilder to earn a shot at the green and gold belt.
“I’m feeling really good. I’ve fought a lot of good opponents and had a long career so far,” said Helenius.
“This is, of course, a big fight for me. I have respect for Deontay, but I’m going to give everything that I have.”
Helenius has been in the ring with Wilder before, ironically helping to prepare him for Fury in October 2021. Wilder put on a Fight of the Year performance.
But when the first bell goes in New York City, Helenius will forget about any time spent in camp and the accompanying emotions.
“I’m ready to do everything in my power to win. I only took two weeks off after my last fight.
“I’ve been training since then. I know what it takes to win at this level,” he stated.
“I’ve promised my fans in Finland that I would bring the world title back home. Sometimes you have to go through a lot to get there.
“But I’m going to do everything I can. We’re doing all the extra work that we need to.”
Wilder is favored to get the knockout. However, Helenius knows having the spotlight of FOX Sports PPV means he has to avoid that big right hand.
A future world title shot is at stake and within touching distance.
“This is a huge deal. All I’ve ever wanted is to get the chance at the world heavyweight title.
“That’s why I’ve continued to fight. If I didn’t see myself becoming a world champion, I would have stopped and found a much easier job to do.
“I’m thankful to Deontay for his nice words [about me in camp with him], but on October 15, I’m going to bring the Viking spirit into the ring.”
If Helenius can pull off the upset and not become another Wilder statistic, several huge bouts await him.
Ruiz, Fury, and several others will come into play for Helenius, who is undoubtedly better than the odds suggest.
Wilder vs Helenius co-feature
Caleb Plant faces Anthony Dirrell in the co-feature on the main card. Plant is 21-1, with 12 KOs. He lost via TKO in his last fight with Canelo Alvarez.
Dirrell is currently 34-2-2 in total fights and will aim to stave off potential retirement in a battle of two former world champions on the undercard.
It’s been a long journey for both in their careers. Saturday night will be another huge test.
Tickets are still available for the Barclays Center battle.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.