By Bill Phanco: Undefeated heavyweight contender Robert Helenius (18-0, 11 KO’s) will be fighting this Saturday night in a scheduled 10 round bout against Britain’s Michael Sprott (37-19, 17 KO’s) in Helenius’ second fight of his comeback from a serious injury when they meet on the undercard of the Arthur Abraham vs. Robert Stieglitz 2 fight at the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany.
Helenius, # 1 WBO, is still technically an unbeaten fighter even though many boxing fans believe he got a hometown decision in beating Dereck Chisora by a 12 split decision two years ago in December 2011. Helenius injured his right shoulder in that fight and had to have surgery to repair the problem. It took the 6’6 ½” Helenius almost a year to comeback from the injury, and he looked like a shadow of his former self in beating 40-year-old journeyman Sherman Williams by a 10 round unanimous decision last November.
Helenius was even rocked by Williams at one point in the fight, which isn’t a good sign when predicting future success for Helenius. But more troubling than that was the fact that Helenius’ right hand power was gone. It wasn’t there and he looked like a tall noodle, throwing weak shots, and taking bigger punches in return from Williams.
The fact that Helenius’ promoters are matching him up with another journeyman in Sprott suggests that they’re not going to be putting Helenius in against anyone that can beat him before he gets a title shot/payday against WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Helenius will lose that fight because he’s not a big enough puncher, and he’ll be at Wladimir’s mercy from the outside.
The 38-year-old Sprott has a slight chance of beating Helenius if he can turn the fight into a grueling back and forth type fight like he did in his recent victory over highly hyped German fighter Edmund Gerber last December. Sprott pulled off a huge upset in beating Gerber by a 10 round majority decision. If Sprott can stay close enough to land constantly against Helenius, we could see another upset. I doubt it because the fight is taking place in Germany, but it’s possible.
WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (36-3, 28 Ko’s) will be making his second defense of his WBO title in a rematch against Robert Stieglitz (43-3, 24 KO’s) in a kind of a pointless fight. Abraham already beat Stieglitz last August, but due to Stieglitz, the former WBO champion, having a rematch clause in the contract, it’s forcing Abraham to fight him again. I’m sure Abraham doesn’t mind because it gives him a chance to milk his title for one more fight, and this will probably be his last successful title defense unless the World Boxing Organization allow Abraham to steer around his #1 WBO challenger George Groves to fight another optional title defense.