Unbeaten European heavyweight champion Erkan Teper (15-0, 10ko) will defend his title for the first time on December 19th when he travels to Finland to take on the “Nordic Nightmare,” Robert Helenius (21-0, 13ko), at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki.
It’s a potentially dangerous first defence for Teper, who was last seen in July, pole-axing Britain’s David Price inside two rounds to claim the vacant strap, and the unbeaten 33 year old – a late starter to the pro game at 28 years of age – is keen to try and push on to world level – something that given the current divisional climate may not be such a fantastic aim as it seems.
Helenius, perhaps best remembered by many for his “gift” decision win over Dereck Chisora in 2011, has suffered long periods of inactivity since that fight, firstly down to injury, and then due to promotional disputes that saw him box just the once in 2012 and another solitary outing in 2013.
He finally returned proper in February of this year after a full two years of sitting on the sidelines, blasting out Andras Cosmor in little over a minute, then following that up with a 3rd round KO of Georgia’s Baka Lobjanidze in June.
Teper may prove a stubborn test given the quality of this year’s [overmatched] opposition, yet Helenius continues to assert to Finnish media that he too has his sights firmly set on a world title, although the promise that surrounded him a few years ago vanished for most after the Chisora fight, and it’s difficult to gauge from this year’s outings exactly what he has left – only time will tell.
What is for sure is that when these two do square off in December, someone’s ‘0’ has got to go…..