The career of Robert Helenius began floundering in 2016. As one of the sport’s hottest young prospects, the Swedish native was left unaware of his surroundings in the sixth round against Johann Duhaupas. Although he would go on to reel off three consecutive victories, Dillian Whyte pushed him further down boxing’s totem pole in 2017.
With another defeat laced onto his record in 2019, Helenius had ostensibly taken his place as the heavyweight division’s gatekeeper. Yet, with back-to-back unlikely victories against Adam Kownacki, the 38-year-old has successfully revitalized his career. While Helenius had every reason to celebrate, he refrained from doing so. Instead, the newly instated heavyweight contender immured himself in his sweat-inducing gym as he continued to work out the kinks in his overall game.
“We have been training since the last fight,” said Helenius during a recent virtual press conference. “We took just two weeks off and we’ve been training since then.”
In addition to perfecting his craft, Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) is also preparing himself for what he expects will be an all-out war against Deontay Wilder on October 15th, in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Wilder, of course, will look to regain momentum following back-to-back stoppage defeats at the hands of Tyson Fury. Prior to those losses, Wilder, due to his deleterious knockout power, had garnered a reputation as arguably the most devastating puncher in heavyweight history.
Images of top-tier contenders such as Luis Ortiz, Dominic Breazeale, Artur Szpilka, and countless others, sprawled out on the canvas, motionless, courtesy of a Deontay Wilder right hand, have not only been burned into the memory bank of Helenius, but those indelible moments have pushed him to train relentlessly.
“I’m doing extra work every day, hours in the gym.”
At this stage in the career of Helenius, he’s well aware that the light at the end of his boxing tunnel is rapidly approaching. Still, despite his age, and regardless of the ups and downs that have engulfed his time as a professional pugilist, he still visualizes himself wrapping championship gold around his waist one day.
“I’m gonna do everything in my power. If I wouldn’t have seen myself at some point as world champion, I would have stopped. 15th of October, I’m gonna bring the Viking spirit.”