FORMER European heavyweight champ Robert Helenius of Finland will step in at short notice to face Dillian Whyte on the October 28 card headlined by Anthony Joshua against Carlos Takam (this itself being a short notice fight, with Kubrat Pulev pulling out if his shot at AJ due to injury) at the Principality stadium in Cardiff.
The 33-year-old is experienced and he has met a few other British fighters before. Currently 25-1 (16) Helenius will be having just his second fight since December of last year yet he says he is not worried at all about ring-rust or about Whyte’s growing reputation of being an avoided fighter. Helenius says he will defeat Whyte and will then go on to become world champion.
Here “The Nordic Nightmare” speaks exclusively with Boxing News:
Q: You have taken this fight on short notice and there are some people who say Dillian Whyte is being avoided – yet you took this, a risky fight with him and in the UK. Why?
Robert Helenius: “Because this is the fight that I want, and have wanted for some time. I’m not even going to talk about the fight being on short notice, that doesn’t matter to me at all. In terms of risk, all fights carry with them a certain amount of risk. This is nothing new, this is what we [fighters] do – we fight. I am very excited about this fight, it’s a big fight. I am excited about each and ever fight I have.”
Q: You have faced a number of other British fighters and you have beaten them, tell us why you will beat Whyte also?
R.H: “I will definitely win, by knockout. He will definitely fall. I know it will be a tough fight, but it will be a tough fight for Dillian more than it will be for me, and it will be a loss on his record, that’s it. I hope he stands and fights with me and doesn’t run, as his reputation suggests [he will not run].”
Q: You have been inactive as of late, with just one fight since December of 2016. Do you have any concerns about rust, and how long do you plan on fighting on for at age 33?
R.H: “I have absolutely no worries about that [possible rust], because I am always, always in training. I feel I have ten years left in boxing, and during this time I will definitely become word heavyweight champion. I have no doubts. This fight will assist me in getting there [to a world title shot]. I want a fight with [Deontay] Wilder, I know I can KO him and I will KO him if I get the fight with him. But in my opinion [Anthony] Joshua is the best of the current heavyweight champions. Of course I want to fight him also.”
Q: You have lost just once as a pro, to Johann Duhaupas in April of 2016 (being stopped in the sixth-round). What went wrong in that fight?
R.H: “That fight, I no longer feel is at all relevant. The reason is, I have improved on every level since then. I had a bad night then, that’s all.”
Q: What do you think Whyte does well and which fights of his have you seen?
R.H: “Well first of all, this is my fight, not his, and I do not care about Whyte or what he does well. I have seen his fight with Joshua, where he was knocked out, and he will suffer a similar defeat when he steps in with me. Make no mistake, I am coming to the UK to conquer! This is my fight, not his.”