In a crushing blow to his career, previously unbeaten heavyweight contender Robert Helenius (22-1, 13 KOs) tasted defeat for the first time in his eight year pro career in getting halted in the 6th round by #12 WBC Johann Duhaupas (34-3, 21 KOs) on Saturday night at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. The fact that Duhaupas, 35, was able to go into Helenius’ own hometown to defeat him has to hurt even worse for him.
Duhaupas dropped the 32-year-old Helenius in the 4th and 6th rounds. The knockdown in the 6th was the finisher, as Duhaupas connected with a perfect combination to the head that put Helenius down hard on the canvas. Helenius was both hurt and very tired as he got back to his feet. He then stumbled into the ropes and hung there helplessly as the referee stopped the fight. The win for Duhaupas gives him the WBC Silver heavyweight title, and will give him a push upwards in the WBC’s rankings.
The 6’7 ½” Helenius wasn’t accustomed to fighting at such a rugged pace before tonight’s fight, and he couldn’t keep up with the more active Duhaupas. It was too much for Helenius, who seemed to want to get the fight done quickly like in his other fights.
Duhaupas took Helenius’ best pot shots and kept coming forward to punish him. In the end, Helenius was done in more by the nonstop attacking style from Duhaupas than he was from the power of his shots.
Helenius had been matched so carefully before tonight’s fight. It’s really not surprising that Duhaupas was able to KO Helenius because the heavyweight had never had a proper fight before this one other than his controversial win over Dereck Chisora five years ago. Many boxing fans saw Helenius losing that fight. Tonight’s loss was Helenius’ first official defeat, but he clearly lost to Chisora in the past in my view.