Dillian Whyte vs. Robert Helenius – Results
By Jim Dower: Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte (22-1, 16 KOs) won a dull pedestrian 12 round unanimous decision over 33-year-old Robert “Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (25-2, 16 KOs) to snatch the vacant WBC Silver heavyweight title on Saturday night at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The judges’ scores were 119-109, 119-109 and 118-110. It was a clear win for the 29-year-old Whyte, but not a good one in terms of making a case for him beating or even challenging WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder next February. Boxing News 24 scored the fight for Whyte by a 119-109 score. In other words, Whyte won the fight by 11 rounds to 1 score.
The 6’6 ½” Helenius used his height and reach to lean away from many of the 6’4” Whyte’s attempts at landing big head shots. Many of Whyte’s best shots missed wildly during the fight. Whyte’s tendency to throw a lot of looping right hands made it easy for Helenius to block them or take the steam off of them by him holding his left guard high to keep from getting hit cleanly. Moreover, Whyte was throwing his rights too far away for them to get a lot of steam on them.
Like in Whyte’s recent fights, he was unable to generate any power on his surgically repaired left arm. Whyte’s left hand hasn’t been the same since he suffered a left shoulder injury 2 years ago in his fight with Anthony Joshua. For all intents and purposes, Whyte was a one-armed fighter tonight against Helenius.
Helenius, 33, had his best moments in the first 3 rounds of the contest. Helenius could catch Whyte with solid right hands to the head as he would plod forward looking to land. Helenius’ power wasn’t good enough to hurt Whyte. At one time in his career, Helenius used to be a big puncher with his right hand, but he hasn’t been a big puncher since his fight with Dereck Chisora. Helenius suffered a shoulder injury in that fight.
From rounds 4-12, Helenius looked completely exhausted and unable to mount any real offense against Whyte. Despite being exhausted, Helenius showed good defensive skills in blunting Whyte’s attempts at scoring big shots. Whyte would have had better success if he’d thrown some sustained combinations to the head or the body of Helenius.
Whyte’s mistake was the one-pace that he was attacking Helenius all night. Each time Whyte would come forward, he would throw a looping right hand, and then a left-right combination. Helenius was able to lean backwards to take the power off of Whyte’s punches. Helenius would then move to his left to keep Whyte from having a stationary target to get off his shots.
Whyte should have sped up the pace of his attacks on Helenius, since it was clear that the “Nordic Nighmare” was depleted and doing very little fighting. Helenius seemed to be treating the fight like a sparring session rather than a fight. That’s the feeling that I got watching watch it. Helenius was being friendly with Whyte at the end of the round, and it looked like two friends having a good spar. Whyte smiled a lot at Helenius during the rounds.
Whyte didn’t turn up the heat on Helenius like he’d done with his past opponents. It’s unclear whether Helenius lulled Whyte into taking it easy on him by treating him in a friendly manner during the fight or what. Whatever the case, Whyte didn’t show any sense of urgency to try and take Helenius out. Whyte needs someone to go to war with him for him to try and take his opponent’s head off. Whyte didn’t have that tonight. Helenius was just trying to survive in there.
All in all, this was not an impressive fight from Whyte. Had this been Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua inside the ring against Helenius, they likely would have knocked him out without any problems. Whyte doesn’t have the power required for him to knockout fighters with a single shot to the head the way that Joshua and Wilder do. Whyte needs his opponents to stay still so that he can wear them down with a sustained accumulation of punches. That’s how Whyte could knockout his last opponent Malcolm Tann in round 3 on August 19. Tann stood stationary with his back against the ropes, and this allowed Whyte to tee off on him and put him down 4 times in the fight.
With the World Boxing Council Silver heavyweight title now in his possession, the 29-year-old Whyte will probably be elevated to the No.1 position in the WBC’s new rankings. Whyte will now be able to get the mouth-watering fight that he’s longed for against Deontay Wilder. As bad as Whyte looked tonight, Wilder will likely give him a title shot even if he doesn’t get ranked at No.1 by the WBC. Whyte doesn’t look like he’s a threat to beat Wilder.
If Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn is counting on Whyte beating Wilder, then he’s going to need to step back and get a dose of reality, because it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. The Bronze Bomber looks too good for a fighter like Whyte to beat him. Hearn can still make the Wilder-Whyte fight so that he can help increase the buy rate for the Wilder vs. Joshua fight. If Hearn wants to save Whyte for a later date against Joshua, it would probably be a lot smarter for him not to make the Wilder-Whyte fight. If Whyte loses badly to Wilder, it’s going to take Hearn a long time to rebuild him for a title shot against Joshua.
It’ll be a risk on Hearn’s part if he sticks Whyte inside the ring with Wilder, as he could get knocked out badly by the American heavyweight. A bad knockout loss for Whyte will surely stick in the minds of a lot of the British boxing fans, and they might not be thrilled at the idea of Hearn putting together a Joshua-Whyte title fight in 2018 or 2019.
Whyte needs to be matched against guys his own level like Dereck Chisora. Those two should fight each other, and the winner of the contest getting a title shot against Joshua in 2019. But if Hearn puts together a fight between Whyte and Wilder for February 3rd, like he’s been talking about, it’s probably going to end badly for the “Body Snatcher.”