Former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, boxing’s biggest one-punch hitter, returns for his first fight in over a year in New York this weekend.
The American’s bout against dangerman Robert Helenius will be broadcast live on SuperSport – with the early-morning Sunday feed from 3am.
Wilder was on a savage knockout streak until running into Tyson Fury in 2018. That memorable fight was a draw, but two subsequent outings against the Briton resulted in damaging knockout defeats for Wilder.
He threatened to retire, but instead went away and has made the adjustments he believes will help him regain a version of the heavyweight championship.
This fight is effectively an eliminator for Fury’s title, so much is riding on the outcome.
Helenius, from Finland, was on the outer until two surprise back-to-back stoppage defeats of contender Adam Kownacki, both at the venue of this weekend’s showdown, the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn. Big and awkward, he could present a decent test for Wilder, particularly as no one knows the American’s mental state after Fury dismantled him in such a ferocious fashion.
Unusually, there has been little bad blood in the build-up, probably because Wilder and Helenius are not just friends, but have regularly sparred one another. Sparring is a long way off the real thing, but Helenius will have a reasonably good idea of the power Wilder packs and will likely be circumspect as he approaches this fascinating 12-rounder.
Viewers are in for a treat with a lively undercard that includes Caleb Plant against Anthony Dirrell in a 12-round super middleweight bout and heavyweight contenders Frank Sanchez and Carlos Negron rumbling in a scheduled 10-rounder. – SuperSport