Deontay Wilder will reportedly face Robert Helenius on October 15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on FOX Sports PPV. Wilder has been out of action since his stoppage loss to Tyson Fury in their third fight back in October of last year.
Now, almost a year to the day that he sustained the second defeat of his professional boxing career the ‘Bronze Bomber’ will square off against the Finnish puncher. According to reports from Boxing Scene, a deal to stage the contest hasn’t been completed as of Wednesday but is close to being finalised.
The fight was seemingly in doubt last month when it was confirmed that Helenius was speaking to lawyers about a lawsuit against the WBA due to the ongoing situation regarding his mandatory status. Back in 2020, The Nordic Nightmare’ defeated Adam Kownacki in a WBA final eliminator bout to determine the next challenger for the winner of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk for the WBA (super), IBF, and WBO titles.
With the belts tied up between Usyk and Joshua after their rematch clause was activated, Helenius defeated Kownacki again, further affirming his position at the front of the line. However, he has since been dropped to No2 and is currently sat behind No1 ranked Michael Hunter and WBA (regular) champion Daniel Dubois in the pecking order.
As Helenius increased the pressure on the WBA to force his way into a mandatory fight, the bout with Wilder appeared to be in jeopardy, but now it seems as though it will take place after all. Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) had hinted at retirement following his trilogy fight with Tyson Fury but recently came out to announce that he will box again.
In his last contest, he weighed in at a career heaviest 238lb but photos posted this week reveal that the American knockout artist has lost a considerable amount of weight. Over the course of a 14-year stint in the paid ranks, Wilder remained undefeated for 43 fights and reigned as the WBC heavyweight champion between 2015 and 2020. The only man to have ever beaten Wilder as a pro is, of course, Fury, however, Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) will be hoping to become the second in two months’ time.
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The 38-year-old has had a mixed run in his career so far defined by his arduous struggle in attempting to secure a world title shot. Helenius was unable to overcome Johann Duhaupas and Dillian Whyte in 2016 and 2017 to establish himself as the WBC mandatory and is yet to achieve anything above European honours.
If he manages to defeat Wilder in Brooklyn, he will take his No1 ranking with the WBC and find himself in an extremely strong position should Fury choose to vacate the green strap.