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Erkan Teper suffers injury, fight with Robert Helenius off

Robert HeleniusBy Tim Fletcher: Unbeaten #9 WBC heavyweight contender Erkan Teper (15-0, 10 KOs) has reportedly suffered an arm injury, according to Fight News. The injury is bad enough to where Teper’s scheduled December 19th fight this month against the 6’6″ Robert Helenius (21-0, 13 KOs) is now off for the Hartwall Arena, Helsinki.

The 33-year-old Teper’s arm injury will require surgery to repair the problem. Needless to say, this is really disappointing for boxing fans, because the Teper vs. Helenius fight would have been a good one. The winner of the Teper-Helenius fight would have been pushed up the heavyweight rankings to be in position for a world title fight in the near future.

With the kind of size and talent that Teper and Helenius both have, they would probably need to be ranked #1 by the sanctioning bodies for them to get a title shot because both are too dangerous to be selected for a voluntary defense by the heavyweight champions.

The 31-year-old Helenius still plans on fighting on the December 19th card at the Hartwall Arena. His new opponent will be Franz Rill (11-0, 7 KOs). The two of them will fight for the vacant EBU heavyweight title. As for Teper, he’ll be able to fight the winner of the Helenius vs. Rill fight if that’s something that he is still interested in doing.

Teper has been a pro since 2010. He recently made a name for himself last July when he stopped the well-known British heavyweight David Price in the 2nd round of the fight. Teper looked very impressive in that fight, and he was compared by some boxing fans and writers to the late South African Corrie Sanders, who briefly held the WBO heavyweight title after beating Wladimir Klitschko by a 2nd round knockout in 2003. Teper has the same explosive manner of punching that Sanders had.

Helenius has two recent wins over Beka Lobjanidze and Andras Csomor after being out of the ring for two years from 2013 to 2015. Before his two-year absence from the ring, Helenius was seen by some as a future heavyweight champion. Now two years later, Helenius needs to make up for lost time by fighting frequently in order to get quickly pushed up the heavyweight rankings.

At 6’6″, Helenius has the size and the punching power to make him a threat to the current IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev. Helenius would match up well against either of those heavyweights. However, he’s still not ranked in the top 15 by any of the sanctioning bodies at this time due to his long time out of the ring. A victory over Teper would have solved Helenius’s problems by giving him a quick ranking. Helenius needs to speed his career up if he wants to get a world title shot in the near few years. He can’t afford anymore long layoffs or injuries like that ones that have kept him out of action in the past.

Helenius has wins over Dereck Chisora, Lamon Brewster and Samuel Peter in the past. His 12 round split decision win over Chisora in 2011 was a controversial one with many boxing fans feeling that Chisora had done enough to deserve the victory. Helenius fought injured in that fight, however.

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