Robert Helenius roars back into heavyweight mix?Written by Leroy Cleveland
WALDENBUCH, GERMANY - Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Alexander Povetkin, Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz are far and away today's top heavyweights.
Shall we add Robert Helenius to that list?
Perhaps it's a little too soon for that but the 6'7" heavyweight made a quality statement yesterday by knocking out Erkan Teper in Round 8.
The win propelled The Nordic Nightmare to 28-2, 17 KOs while former Euro champ Erkan Teper, who boasts wins over David Price, Derric Rossy and Johann Duhaupas, fell to 19-3, 12 KOs.
After the fight, one viewer stated on social media:
"Helenius almost took Teper out... at the end of 3rd round, Erkan was saved by the bell. Teper is fearless and can certainly knockout opponents. However, before the KO, Helenius looked good, he was moving well, had still plenty of stamina and had already severely hurt Teper on three occasions. Best Helenius I have seen since 2011."
Let's rewind to 2011 when Helenius is the hottest up-and-coming heavyweight in boxing. Remember all of the comparisons to the Klitschko brothers? Remember his highlight reel knockout over Sam Peter?
Helenius, now 34, was a top 5 contender prior to undergoing extensive surgery in 2012 after snapping a ligament in his right shoulder following a hard fall while running. Other ligaments were damaged too so parts of his collarbone also needed reconstruction.
The initial prognosis for a successful return to boxing was not good and Helenius has struggled since.
Since March 2013, he's had 12 fights (10-2, 6 KO) and, prior to last night, hadn't been able to regain the luster and devastating punching power he once had.
Will Helenius, for the first time since 2012, be thrusted back in the heavyweight title mix?