By Shaun Murphy: I used to have high hopes for Audley Harrison, so I can be wrong about a fighter’s prospects, but I believe Robert Helenius is a strong, capable fighter; in fact, I believe he’s the heir apparent to the Klitschko brothers.
I don’t think anybody can doubt an extensive amateur career is a massive advantage for a professional boxer; the ‘’Nordic Nightmare’’, after 7 years in the vest, won a silver medal in the 2006 European Championships and showed he was a big, skilled heavyweight with a punch. When he turned pro in 2008 he had 9 priceless years of amateur experience behind him.
Helenius’ first few fights were easy and against lower quality opposition. It wasn’t until he fought the useful Welshman Scott Gammer that he showed how good he could become. Unlike many big fighters (like Tye Fields and Michael Grant) who use their size to bully rather than dominate, Helenius stood over the outclassed Gammer and poked a straight left in his face while punishing him from body to head with savage blows. The final right hook to the body was a killer. Gammer looked up at the ceiling, breathed through his teeth and shook his head. He didn’t get up.
The next fight where Helenius showed his abilities was against Lamon Brewster. Yes, we all know that the Brewster who chased Wladimir Klitschko across the ring wasn’t there that night; and yes, he was old. Helenius, however, could only beat what was in-front of him, and some people even expected Brewster to win. He had no chance. Helenius controlled him from behind his jab and finished the American with a slashing right hand in the eighth.
Before fighting Samuel Peter, Helenius won the European title with another knockout. But when he entered the ring against the tough, dangerous Nigerian he had a major disadvantage in experience. Importantly, He showed a good chin whenever Peter managed to get inside; and, in the ninth, he threw a left hook that put Peter onto his huge, muscular back. When Peter got up, Helenius threw a right hand that put him back on the canvas; Peter had that Gammer look: tough heavyweights can break a man’s spirit. The ‘’Nordic Nightmare’’ is like that.
On August the 27th, in Munich, Germany, I believe Helenius is going to knock out the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Sergo Liakhovich. The ‘’White Wolf’’ is a tough, big-boned guy but he’s a brawler: you just can’t stand in-front of a tall, modern day heavyweight like Helenius and expect to stay vertical. When and if Helenius wins, the ‘’Nordic Nightmare’’ will have sent out another message that his ultimate destination is undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Listen to his interviews (the ones in English); it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!