Helenius-Sprott on Saturday in Magdeburg, Germany
By Eric Thomas: 6’6 ½” heavyweight contender Robert Helenius (18-0, 11 KO’s) will be trying to make a case for himself that he deserves to get a crack at IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko when Helenius faces journeyman Michael Sprott (37-19, 17 KO’s) this Saturday night at the GETEC Arena, in Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany.
The World Boxing Organization already has the 29-year-old Helenius at #1 WBO despite the fact that Helenius has fought only once in the past two years, and looked awful in both fights. Based on how Helenius has looked in fights against Dereck Chisora and Sherman Williams, a better ranking perhaps for Helenius is #15 WBO rather than #1 because he really should have lost to Chisora two years ago in his controversial 12 round split decision victory over him in Finland.
You won’t hear Helenius admit that, though, because he still thinks he deserved to win the fight even though he took a beating and looked out of his element for the entire 12 round fight.
Helenius injured his right shoulder before the fight with Chisora, and it worsened in that fight. Afterwards, Helenius had shoulder surgery to repair the problem, and he ended up missing 11 months of action. He came back last November to beat 40-year-old journeyman Sherman Williams last November in an uninspiring 10 round unanimous decision, and was even hurt in the 6th round by one of Williams’ big right hands.
Helenius used to be a big puncher with his right hand, but maybe he came back too soon because his power was missing and he was just some tall guy with a limp jab, and slapping right hand. It wasn’t the kind of performance that suggests that Helenius is going to be a major player in the heavyweight division.
Before the injury, Helenius had a couple of good wins over Sergiy Liakhovich and Sam Peter. Granted, both of them were over-the-hill, but they were still good wins. However, things changed when he faced Chisora. How much of that was from the injury and how much from Chisora is unclear.
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