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Is Robert Helenius for real?

Image: Is Robert Helenius for real?By John F. McKenna (McJack): Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (15-0, 10 KO’s) scored an impressive ninth round KO over former WBC Heavyweight Champion Sam “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (34, 5, 27 KO’s) at the Gary Weber Stadium in Halle, Germany on Saturday night. Helenius fought cautiously for the first couple of rounds as Peter pressed the attack. In the second round Peter stung Helenius with a left hook to the ear, but by the end of the round Helenius appeared to have recovered. As the fight progressed, Heleniuis’s thudding left jab appeared to be taking its toll on “The Nigerian Nightmare” but he continued to stalk his back pedaling opponent. In the sixth round both fighters traded heavy punches. Peter’s eyes began to swell from the constant thud of left jabs.

Going into the seventh round it was evident that Peter was running out of gas and he tried to end it all with one big shot. Before the start of the ninth round Helenius’s trainer Ulli Wegner admonished him to end it and he immediately went on the offensive. He floored Peter with a hard left hook. When Peter arose, Helenius again went on the attack and landed a hard right followed by a crushing left hook which ended the fight.

Peter weighed in at two hundred and sixty pounds for the fight, which was nineteen pounds heavier than he weighed against Vladimir Klitschko last September. Helenius at 6’6” weighed in at two hundred thirty nine pounds and appeared to be in excellent condition.

The question which must now be asked is how good is Robert Helenius? He has a number of things in his favor, first of all his Klitschko like size. At twenty seven years old he should only get better. Helenius won a Silver Medal at Super Heavyweight at the European Championships in 2006 and turned pro in 2008. In January 2010 Helenius stopped Lamont Brewster in the eighth round. Helenius’s reputation for having “heavy hands” was clearly established in the fight with Brewster who stated after the fight that Helenius’s gloves felt like they were “loaded”. In August 2010 he won the vacant European Heavyweight Title when he defeated Gregory Tony.

Of course there will be many more hurdles before it can be established as to whether or not “The Nordic Nightmare” is the real deal. At this point he does not appear to have Vladimir Klitschko’s boxing skill, but it is very early in his career. Already there are whispers that he should be considered as Vitali Klitchko’s next opponent. A premature fight against Vitali at this stage of his career would be a disaster.

One of the other questions being asked is how much does Sam Peter still have in the tank? His downward spiral began in 2008 when it was thought by many that he would defeat Vitali Klitschko who had been out of boxing for four years. The damage done to Sam Peter in the fight with Vitali affected him mentally at least as much as it did physically.

He was totally demoralized in that fight and apparently has not been able to fully recover from it. A loss to Eddie Chambers followed and then Last September Peter was KO’d by Vladimir Klitschko. Not too much should be made of Helenius’s victory over an out of shape Sam Peter, who obviously did not take his training camp seriously.

Nothing would be better for boxing than for a new exciting heavyweight to enter the picture. It remains to be seen whether Robert Helenius will be that fighter.

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