Heavyweight Robert Helenius Fighting Through Right Hand Injury
By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent
Magdeburg, Germany (March 24, 2013)– Swedish heavyweight fighter Robert Helenius, ‘The Nordic Nightmare’, has reached an overhyped 19-0 with 11 knockouts. Once touted as the one man to beat Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali Klitschko, and Alexander Povetkin, Helenius has a new critic……….
Himself. Helenius is not boxing soundly or effectively of recent due to a hand injury.
Helenius has now gone the distance in his last three fights, and he has not looked particularly impressive doing it, making for many boxing skeptics, who no longer believe Heleniouos has ‘it’. Helenius won an impressive split decision in 12 rounds, an unimpressive 10 round decision over Sherman Williams, and now an unimpressive 10 round decision over British and European heavyweight champion Michael Sprott in Germany on March 23, 2013. SPrott, who defeated 22-0 heavyweight prospect Edmund Gerber by 10 round majority decision in December 2012, gave Helenius a close call in putting up a good fight.
Helenius blamed a recurring right hand injury as the reason his right jab-and his right hand punches-after injuring the hand hitting Sprott sometime in the second round. Helenius compensating with an offensive output by volume with his left hand through the middle rounds to pull the ten round decision out. Sprott (37-20), now a 20 loss fighter at age 38, should have been the type of aging fighter Helenius would eventually break down and put away. it didn’t happen, though, so many questions remain about Helenius’ future as the rising star of the heavyweight division.
A fighter should not fighter when he or she knows they are hurt, nor should they be made to fight if they believe an injury will affect their performance. This logic applied to all sports. World Light Heavyweight John Henry Lewis was going blind, and took a world heavyweight title fight with Joe Louis to get the money for an eye operation, getting knocked out in the first round. Former WBO World Heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders was knocked out in the first round by Osbourne Machinama in a south African Heavyweight title bout in the first round, when Sanders was punched in his injured rib cage, which was injured in sparring before the bout. Both of these heavyweight fights should not have taken place.
Helenius won three regional heavyweight belts, then forfeited them for not defending them: The WBA Inter-continental; the WBO Inter-Continental; and the European EBU Heavyweight title. To stay with focus, Helenius should train for a major step up fight, and when he is healthy, put on a convincing performance and silence the critics. The best opponent available is 17-0 Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, ranked third in the world on BoxRec, while Helenius is ranked eighth in the world on BoxRec. A matchup between Helenius and Pulev could yield a world title shot if Helenius wins. Another Helenius opponent could be WBA champion Alexander Povetkin or the winner of the upcoming Steve Cunningham versus Tyson Fury bout coming up at Madison Square Garden on April 20. at 6’6 1/2″ and 239 to 249 pounds at age 29, Helenius’ chances-and his future-can still be very bright. But he has to score convicning wins like his knockout win over Samuel Peter to keep the television networks and the big boxing promoters interested in a big matchup.
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