Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) says he set a trap for his old sparring partner Robert Helenius (31-4, 20 KOs), waiting for him to reach before nailing him with a short, powerful right hand that knocked him cold in the first round on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Helenius, 38, never saw the shot coming from Wilder, knocking him senseless, putting him down on his back. The interesting part about it is that Wilder didn’t get full extension on his right hand knockout punch. Wilder smothered his power by throwing the shot from in close, but it didn’t matter.
The punch cleaned Helenius’ clock, sending him down as if he’d been nailed by a baseball bat.
Interestingly, it was the same short right hand that Wilder had landed on Tyson Fury to knock him down hard in the fourth round last October.
For the fans that remembered that knocked down, that was where the referee gave a dramatically slow count, which you can argue saved Fury from being knocked out.
According to CompuBox, Wilder landed only three punches in the entire round. It’s not surprising that Wilder’s punch output was so low because he was on the move, circling the entire time.
It was fortunate for Wilder that he knocked Helenius out so quickly because it would have been difficult for him to move the entire fight.
“I set him up,” said Deontay Wilder about Robert Helenius. “I allowed him to reach, and when he reached, I attacked. It was a great fight.
“It’s been a good camp for me. We worked to make this fun for me. We work at this so much that it can just become a job. We made it fun again. We put in over 700 rounds, and it paid off tonight big time,” said Wilder.
Helenius looked fleshy and not in the kind of shape he’d been in for his last two fights against Adam Kownacki. Wilder took advantage of Helenius’ lack of speed by neutralizing his offense entirely with his movement, and it worked perfectly.
After the fight, Wilder mentioned wanting to face Oleksandr Usyk or Andy Ruiz Jr next. Wilder likely won’t get the Usyk fight because he’s expected to face Tyson Fury next.
You can argue that Wilder didn’t help his cause by stopping Helenius so quickly because he may have scared off Usyk in the process.