Weights: Helenius 252.6, Rill 245.5
By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten Robert Helenius (21-0, 13 KOs) weighed in at 252.6lbs on Friday at his weigh-in for his fight against Germany’s Franz Rill (11-0, 7 KOs) for their fight for the vacant EBU heavyweight title on Saturday night at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.
Rill, 28, weighed in at 245.5lbs. The winner of the Helenius-Rill fight will not only be capturing the EBU title, but they could wind up facing Britain’s Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) next.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says that Joshua wants to possibly go after the EBU title next, because it would be the natural progression from the British and Commonwealth title to the EBU strap. We’ll have to see whether Hearn will be able to use his promotional muscle to get the winner of the Helenius vs. Rill fight, because those aren’t UK fighters, so it’s not as if Hearn will be able to easily make that fight like he would if these fighters were guys from his own country.
Hearn will likely need to come up with a good offer to get the Helenius-Rill winner to face Joshua and/or help from the European Boxing Union for them to order the winner to face Joshua.
Helenius looked a little flabby around the midsection during the weigh-in. He looks he could stand to lose 15 to 20 pounds around his abdomen. It probably won’t matter much against a fighter like Rill though, because Helenius figures to win this fight without any problems. Rill looks pretty limited despite having an unbeaten record. Rill, 28, has been padding his record against weak opposition like Branislav Plavsic, Paul Butlin, Andras Csomor, Gabriel Enguema and Istvan Mazkin.
Helenius has fought pretty much the same kind of fodder opposition. His last four opponents are Beka Lobjanidze, Csomor, Michael Sprott and Sherman Williams. What’s kind of sad about Helenius is the guy is about to turn 32-years-old next month, and he’s still fighting really weak opposition after seven years as a pro. Helenius turned pro in 2008, and the best that he’s done is fight Dereck Chisora and a shot Sergey Liakhovich and Samuel Peter.
It’s hard to understand. It’s like there’s a failure to launch for some reason with Helenius. He had so much hype behind him four years ago when he was fighting the likes of Chisora and Liakhovich, but then he never took advantage of that hype by fighting one of the talented heavyweights.
At 6’6”, Helenius has good punching power with either hand. He doesn’t have much of a jab though, and he tends to wear down quickly in his contests if he fails to score a knockout.
I see Helenius beating Rill by knockout. If he doesn’t knock him out, then I think he should win a wide decision.
Joshua will have problems with Helenius if he gets hit by with something solid. If Dillian Whyte was able to stagger Joshua, then I can see Helenius doing the same thing. I don’t think Helenius would get injured the second he staggers Joshua though. If he hurts Joshua, he’ll be able to finish him off without losing his left shoulder like we saw with Whyte.
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