Wilder vs. Helenius – Live results from New York
By Mark Eisner: Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) landed one of his crushing right hand bombs to score a scary-looking first round knockout of Robert Helenius (31-4, 20 KOs) on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Before landing the knockout blow, Wilder had done precious little in the round other than circling nonstop, trying to keep out of range of the heavy-handed Helenius.
Late in the round, Helenius closed the distance with Wilder and was met with a short right hand that relieved him of his senses. Wilder’s chopping right hand knocked Helenius out cold, leaving him flat on his back.
Helenius fell without bracing himself, and he was totally unconscious on the canvas, staring up at the ceiling. The fight was immediately halted by the referee, as Helenius was in no condition to get back to his feet when he did regain his senses.
- In the chief support bout, former IBF 168-lb champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) got back to his winning ways by knocking Anthony Dirrell (34-2, 25 KOs) in the ninth round. Plant, 30, knocked out the 37-year-old Dirrell with a left hook in the ninth round. While Dirrell was down, Plant acted like he was digging a grave. The fight had been competitive up until the knockout. Plant, the younger guy, was getting the better of the action with his silky movies, but it wasn’t overly impressive stuff. The fight was a WBC super middleweight title eliminator, which makes Plant the mandatory to champion Canelo Alvarez. If Canelo wants an excuse to continue to swerve Dmitry Bivol, he’s got one now. With that said, it’s questionable whether the boxing public would be all that interested in seeing Canelo and Plant fight again at this point. It will be up to Canelo if he wants to fight the easy mark Plant rather than Bivol or shudder the thought, David Benavidez.
- Unbeaten heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez (21-0, 14 KOs) stopped veteran Carlos Negron (25-4, 20 KOs) in the ninth round. Sanchez knocked Negron down in the ninth round and then flurried on him to get the stoppage. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:36. Sanchez didn’t show the kind of ability that would worry any of the world champions in the division, however. Although listed at 30-years-old, Sanchez looks considerably older.
- In somewhat of a surprise, former IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (21-2, 13 KOs) defeated the highly talented Gary Antonio Russell (19-1, 12 KOs) by a 10 round technical decision in an IBF 118-lb title eliminator. Rodriguez suffered an injury when he collided heads with Russell in the ninth. The fight then went to the scorecards due to Rodirgiiez being too hurt to continue. Russell was down in the eighth and hurt several times in the contest. The judges’ scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 99-93.
- Junior middleweight Vito Mielnicki Jr. (13-1, 8 KOs) schooled Limberth Ponce (19-6, 11 KOs), beating him by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision. The judges scored it 98-92, 99-91, and 99-91.
- Undefeated, highly ranked lightweight contender Michel Rivera (24-0, 14 KOs) defeated Jerry Pérez (14-2, 11 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision. The judges’ scored it 79-72, 79-72, and 80-71. The slick boxing Rivera dropped Perez in the eighth round.
- Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Gurgen Hovhannisyan (4-0, 4 KOs) stopped the big-punching Michael Coffie (13-3, 10 KOs) in the sixth round of a scheduled eight.
The former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) is coming off a bad knockout loss, and there are question marks how the defeat affected him. We’ll find out tonight.
In the co-feature, Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) is returning after being knocked out in his last fight and will be going up against the always dangerous Anthony Dirrell (34-2-1, 25 KOs) in a confidence booster bout.
Plant wants a rematch with Canelo Alvarez, but it’s unclear whether he’s willing to take the risky fights to get him a second shot.
‘Sweethands” had talked of wanting to fight Jermall Charlo & David Benavidez to earn a rematch with Canelo, but he’s quieted down about going in that direction.
Plant will likely go the backdoor route to try and get a rematch with Canelo by focusing on less risky fighters and staying away from Benavidez and Charlo.
“I’ve been a champion for a very long time. I’ve been at the top for a very long time. It’s one of those things. You know what to do to stay there and be there,” said Deontay Wilder to the media about his comeback.
“Certain things change, and certain things don’t. By me being able to be familiar with being at the top, we know how to put on a great show and stay there and compete with the best that’s up there, if anything else.
“My fire is still lit, I can say that. I’ve been so successful in this business, especially financially, that I don’t need this no more. It’s a great feeling to be on the other side.
“98% of the fighters don’t have nothing to show for after the game is over. The only thing they have to show is mental illness, Parkinson, speech impediments, and a lot of other health problems that go on while managers & promoters go on millionaires, sometimes turning into billionaires and able to support their children and children’s children.
“The fighters, the only thing we get is a pat on the back, ‘Oh, he was the greatest in his time.’ What was that? I’m just blessed to be in the position that I’m in. I’ve accomplished so much in my career, and on top of that, I have a statue.
“There are a lot of accomplishments that have been done. All my accomplishments inside the ring have been set in stone by a statue. It’s just going to be another opponent,” said Wilder when told that this will be his first opponent in three years that isn’t Tyson Fury.
“Another time, another place, another day. Like I said, I’ve been up at the top for a very long time, over 40-something fights. It’s just another opponent. Robert is just another opponent.
“Some fighters, you have a relationship, and some fighters, you don’t. With him, it’s a long–time sparring partner. We have a relationship. Once we get inside the ring, that’s where it’s going to count. This is the only time when we’re in the ring where it really counts.
“Other than that, it has just been sparring where iron is sharpening iron, but we got a lot on the line. I highly respect Robert. He has a warrior’s heart.
“I’m looking forward to him testing his heart against my heart. That’s what’s going to make a great fight, and may the best man win.
“You guys will have to stay tuned. A lot of people wonder what I’m going to be wearing [for the ring walk] and different things like that. That’s what pay-per-view is all about. So you got to buy the pay-per-view to see what’s going on.
“What don’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s the saying. I abide by that saying as well. I’ve been soaking in my happiness and my peace. So when you’re happy and at peace, all those things that you might go through, if you’re happy and at peace, you know how to overcome those. You know how to endure all of it.
“Look, ain’t nothing been easy for me. When you’re happy, and at peace, nothing phases you. You just move with the punches and go on about life and find certain ways to live life and enjoy it the best that you can with your loved ones.
“I think Andy Ruiz did exactly enough to win [against Luis Ortiz]. It was a great fight. I would love to entertain that fight. When that does happen, I’ll tell Andy some secrets that even he didn’t know. So, I blessed him even before he knew he was blessed,” said Wilder.
Deontay Wilder returns tonight against Robert Helenius in a 12round fight on FOX Sports PPV at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
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