Chisora-Helenius, Sturm-Murray, More!

Robert HeleniusBy Neil Dunne: It was an icy cold Saturday night and I was strolling back from my local co-op. Wrapped up warm I was wearing my winter boots, beanie hat, hiking coat and all, my mind was wandering about what lay ahead. I was carrying a bag full of my favourite beverage and had a pocket full of sweat snacks, I was prepared and excited about the boxing marathon I was about to watch on the TV.

The previous evening Martin Murray had challenged Felix Sturm for his version of the middleweight title. I had missed the fight live so the repeat that kicked off the evening on sky sports was the perfect warm up.

Being as impatient as I am I couldn’t resist to look at the result the morning after the fight so I had a picture in my mind of how it might unfold. As it was a draw and being contested in Germany I had expected that Murray had done enough for the win especially considering a few months earlier there had been no reward for the performance of Matthew Macklin against the same champion in the same country.

It was a fantastic effort from Murray who’s experience is dwarfed in a boxing ring when you compare it to record of his opponent. Despite the fight being close, however, and a draw being a satisfactory result for me, I felt Sturm had done enough to win. Murray definitely outworked Sturm in some rounds but the German looked bigger and stronger through-out and landed the cleaner punches in my opinion.

Then came the live Sky Sports card and first up Karl Place lost his unbeaten record to Steve Williams. Being one of Sky’s eleven of 2011 Place had been getting good coverage on the channel and I had seen him fight on a number of occasions. Williams I had seen fight a couple of times also, including a brave attempt at the British light-welterweight title against Lenny Daws where he was retired at the end of the tenth.

So I saw this as an interesting match-up involving two prospects. I thought Place was the favourite mainly due to Williams’ lack of power but I knew Williams was there to win after watching him tough it out against Daws.

When the first bell sounded it was clear that Williams’ plan was to pressure Place and pressure him he did for the couple of rounds the fight lasted. Williams’ previous KO record wasn’t outstanding but he definitely looked a puncher on Saturday night. Place had no answer to the barrage of punches that were coming his way and was visibly rocked on more than one occasion in the 2nd before the referee stepped in to end the contest.

Top of the bill saw Prince Aaron losing his British light-middleweight title to Brian Rose. Few gave Rose much of a chance before the fight making Aaron the clear favourite. I wasn’t convinced though as I felt that Aaron loses rounds purely due to a lack of work rate, something that was evident in the fight where he won the title against Sam Web. This proved to be the case as Aaron seemed too cautious and just didn’t work hard enough to win the rounds.

So so-far in my evening of entertainment I had seen three fights which could be seen as three surprise results if you listened to the fight fans, experts and book makers beforehand. The boxing was due to go well into the night ending at Madison square garden for the return match between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito.

The fight I was most looking forward to that evening was probably the EBU Heavyweight title fight between Helenius and Chisora which was part of the opening night of the subscription version of the new dedicated Boxing channel Boxnation Channel 456.

Now before the fight I thought Chisora was a big underdog. I hate to say this being and English man but I didn’t really rate Del Boy as I felt he had been flattered by some of his results. I had seen him struggle against Journey men and his biggest wins were against a shot Danny Williams for the British title and a fragile Sam Sexton who I felt himself was lucky to be in the position he was when he fought Chisora for the second time. In Chisora’s only real challenge he was battered by Tyson Fury, losing most of the rounds and it looked like his chance at the big time had gone.

Helenius on the other hand hadn’t put a foot wrong. He had an unbeaten record that included impressive knock out wins over three legitimate x-world champions. So with proven power and standing over six and a half foot he had a lot of advantages going into the fight. Helenius was emerging as one of the main contenders to challenge the two Brothers at the top of the heavyweight tree and a good win against Chisora would certainly stand him in good stead for an immediate shot.

Round one was a Chisora round, he was applying the pressure, out working and out landing the Finn. Helenius was unable to land anything of any significance as Chisora got into his chest with his superior movement. Round two was a little closer but still couldn’t really be scored to Helenius as again he was out worked and out punched. Round three Chisora did more than enough as Helenius struggled to live with the pace of the fight. Round four Chisora and around five the same but as the rounds ticked by I stared to get a worried feeling. The referee was involved in the fight a little too much, shades of when Sven Ottke stole a decision from Robin Reid.

I logged on to a popular internet Boxing forum to check how some of my fellow boxing fans were seeing the fight.

One poster wrote – “This is one of the worst reffing jobs I have ever seen. Chisora is dominating the fight so far. Helenius is just too slow.” And “7-2 Chisora, Helenius looks like he didn't even train.”

For what it’s worth I didn’t totally agree with this poster, I thought after 9 rounds Helenius had won just one. But then came the post that chilled me to the bones - “I’d say at this point if del boy loses on points it’s the worst decision I can remember”

This was becoming all too predictable, Helenius was going to get the decision. As the rounds went on Chisora continued to win them reasonably clearly and at the end I wouldn’t have argued with a card that had the fight twelve nil in his favour. I was looking for reasons to give rounds to Helenius after awarding the first five to Chisora but those reasons weren’t coming.

When Helenius got the nod my night of boxing came to an end. It was after all a very good fight and after the excitement, the fast food and the beer I couldn’t last any longer. Boxnation’s post fight analysis was too much for me to handle and I curled up on the couch and closed my eyes (only to be rudely awaken at 6am by my daughter asking for her breakfast).

The fights in New York I watched on Sunday evening after the kids had gone to bed and the wife had gone out to the opening party of a local Boutique. I had had a nice day that day, shopping and eating out with the family but all the time in the back of my mind was the robbery that had taken place the night before in Finland. “What can I do as a Boxing fan to express my displeasure?” I thought.

Article posted on 06.12.2011

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