Robert Helenius: “He can’t bully me”
Ahead of his March 7 prizefight, Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (29-3, 18 KO’s) is bubbling over with confidence. Due to his impressive amount of amateur bouts, as well as his many professional outings, he is firm in his belief that he has the skill and experience to best Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-0, 15 KO’s).
The fight will mark Kownacki’s tenth appearance in Brooklyn’s immensely popular Barclays Center. Not only will this be the first time that Helenius has fought in the Barclays Center, it will only be his second time competing as a professional in the United States.
To make matters a bit more daunting, Babyface will be bolstered by a large and very loud supporting cast of animated Polish fans. Luckily for Helenius, he is accustomed to fighting on the road and does not foresee the crowd being a factor whatsoever.
“I’ve been a couple of places, like in Germany and in England, where the public was not on my side. And I have to say when I fight at home, I had a crowd of 14,000 people at most, 2010-2011, and of course I got goose bumps when they were singing the national hymn, the whole crowd, and of course that gives me strength and power. But I’ve been so long with this boxing, so I can’t say that it [a hostile audience] affects me in a negative way.”
STRESS AND INJURY FREE
In large part, his self-belief derives directly from his wealth of in-ring experience. However, this is not his only source of mental strength. Having toiled in the sport for so long, the Nordic Nightmare has become quite familiar and used to dealing with injuries. Although, for this fight, he is beyond ecstatic that he will enter the ring injury-free.
“I’ve been doing boxing for twenty years, so you know I’ve had a lot of operations, a lot of bones broken in my hands and stuff like that. But I have to say that now I feel confident. I haven’t felt this confident in years, so I feel good.”
“…[Injuries] have taken away many years of my career. Many injuries, many operations and stuff like that, so now I’ve been training for a couple of years injury free. So I feel good.”
NO PUSH OVER HERE
So with his mind and body unencumbered with any stress or damage, Helenius actually feels like he is the man to beat.
“[The fight is] 80-20 [for me]…He’s good, of course he’s good. I’ve had a long career, I have tough fights. I’ve had Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peters, Siarhei Liakhovich, I have a lot of hard fights behind me. I think that’s going to make me more confident, make him look like he can’t bully me like he has done with several opponents of his…we have been training with a lot of guys like that, pushing me, pushing me, pushing me and I’ve done quite good.”
In the end, only time will tell how this fight plays out, but on the outside looking in, Robert Helenius is coming in as well-prepared as he could ever hope to be. Given this moxie, and Kownacki’s high-volume, all-action style, this definitely should be one exciting prizefight!
By: Bakari Simpson