Deontay Wilder Refuses to Risk Overlooking “Warrior” Robert Helenius
When former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KO’s) returns to the action on October 15, there will be an air of familiarity. Getting back in front of the lights and cameras, submitted to the rigors of camp and the buzz of fight night all will bring back old memories. This will be even more so considering how closely acquainted Wilder, 36, and his next opponent, Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (31-3, 20 KO’s), already are. As Wilder explained in a recent interview with Fight Hype, these two men are already well-versed with one another.
“Coming back with Robert, you got to understand, this has been my sparring partner for a few years. So we know each other well! I truly respect Robert and his craft, he’s a warrior just like me. He’s got a warrior’s heart just like me!”
GOING HARD IN THE PAINT
Generally speaking, when a very successful fighter pens a fight with a long-time sparring partner, few give the sparring partner a shot at victory. Despite being ranked #2 (WBA) and #10 (WBC), many do view Helenius, 38, as being low-hanging fruit. While this may be the opinion of others, this is not how Wilder, ranked #1 (WBC), is approaching the contest.
“You can’t take Robert Helenius lightly, he’s not one of those guys to look over. Many people may have they opinion of judgement inside while looking upon him inside of the ring and stuff like that. But when you have a man with a heart of gold and a warrior mindset, a warriors heart, its unpredictable what they can do. You can’t look past a man like that!”
Not only is The Bronze Bomber taking the Swede extremely serious, it really sounds like he is risking a bit of overkill in preparation.
“My pre-camp has been started, I’ve done 253 rounds [of sparring] in 11 days and then run Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”
THE FINAL VERDICT
Without question, the staggering amount of sparring rounds that Wilder is putting in will garner attention. The first natural question would be: is he overtraining for Helenius? Another reflexive inquiry would be: does Wilder really believe in himself following the Fury losses, or is he trying to recreate confidence in the gym? Or perhaps, is Wilder’s team simply out of control?
On the outside looking in, any of these theories could be made to sound plausible enough. Yet, in the end, we all will just have to wait to see what version of Deontay Wilder shows up to the ring on October 15.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
By: Bakari Simpson