Robert Helenius

Robert Gabriel Helenius (born 2 January 1984) is a Finnish professional boxer born in Stockholm, Sweden, who held the European heavyweight title twice between 2011 and 2016. He defeated former world heavyweight champions Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter, and Siarhei Liakhovich. As an amateur he won a silver medal at the 2006 European Championships.

Robert Helenius
Robert Helenius.jpg
Helenius in 2010
Nickname(s)The Nordic Nightmare
Height1.981 m (6 ft 6 in)
Reach201 cm (79 in)
  • Finnish
  • Swedish
Born (1984-01-02) 2 January 1984 (age 36)
Stockholm, Sweden
Boxing record
Total fights33
Wins by KO19

Amateur careerEdit

Helenius began training boxing under his father at the mere age of 5. He won the bronze medal in 2000 at the European "cadets" (U 17) championships in Patras; he lost to Croatian Mario Preskar. In 2001 at the Junior European Championships in Sarajevo he earned another bronze, losing to hard-hitting Russian Islam Timurziev.

At the 2001 Finnish Amateur Boxing Championships, in the super heavyweight division, Helenius lost to eventual gold medallist Janne Katajisto in the first round. The following year, Katajisto defeated Helenius in the final.[1][2]

In 2005 at Mianyang Helenius beat David Price on points but then lost to Rustam Saidov.

2006, however, was his breakthrough year. At the 2006 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Plovdiv he finished second, again beaten by Timurziev, this time on points. By this time all of Helenius's victories had come by knockout including versus Bogdan Dinu.

Since 2006 Helenius has been fighting in Germany in the Box-Bundesliga (Premier League) for Hertha BSC. Promoter Sauerland-Boxstall had bought an option in case Helenius turned pro after the Olympics. At the Olympic qualifiers he lost to Marko Tomasović and Jaroslavas Jakšto. Helenius also faced MMA heavyweight fighter Sergei Kharitonov in the amateurs, beating him by points.

Professional careerEdit

Helenius turned pro in 2008 to fight for Germany's Wilfried Sauerland. In 2009 Helenius knocked out former British heavyweight champion Scott Gammer and defeated Taras Bidenko with a third round stoppage.

Helenius vs. BrewsterEdit

In January 2010 Helenius made the biggest step up so far of his professional career in squaring off against former WBO heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster. Many commentators wondered if the Brewster fight had come too early for the big Finn, however Helenius proved his toughness and punching power by grinding Brewster down to score a brutal TKO in the eighth round. Helenius went on to defeat Gbenga Oloukun on 26 March 2010 in Helsinki, despite breaking a bone next to the knuckles of his right hand.

In August 2010 Helenius won the vacant EU heavyweight title against unbeaten Grégory Tony. Helenius defended his title for the first time on 27 November 2010 by beating Attila Levin with a technical knockout in the second round. In the same match he also won the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title.

Helenius vs. PeterEdit

Trying to build on the momentum of his big win over Lamon Brewster, Helenius signed to fight another former world heavyweight champion in Samuel Peter. Peter was coming off a brutal 10th-round knockout loss to unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in their marquee rematch bout. The fight took place on 2 April 2011. Peter started the bout aggressively working behind a consistent body and head attack. However, Helenius weathered the storm and soon began to find the mark with his trademark right hand in the middle rounds. As the bout headed into the 9th the score cards were divided, nevertheless Helenius ended matters scoring a brutal knockout leaving Peter out cold on the canvas for well over the 10 second count. On 27 August 2011 Helenius successfully defended his WBO and WBA Inter-Continental titles against Sergei Liakhovich in Munich, Germany, by technical knockout in round 9. It was Helenius' third knockout victory against former heavyweight champions and further cemented his position as one of the world's top ranked heavyweights.

European heavyweight championEdit

On 3 December 2011, Helenius won the vacant European Championship title (EBU) by beating Derek Chisora by a twelve-round split decision in Helsinki, Finland. The decision was highly debated as most pundits and onlookers thought Chisora had done enough to get the decision. In the Finnish press Helenius claimed he had injured his right arm in the first round of the match, and was thus unable to use it fully.[3] A fracture was found, but it was considered to be minor.[4] The result was widely criticized by the crowd and pundits with Freddie Roach who was commentating the fight labelling it "just terrible" and added 'Helenius was supposed to be the next big thing and the man to challenge the Klitschko's, but Derek totally exposed him and I'm being generous in giving him four winning rounds in the fight'.[5][6]

The Ring considered the outcome of the match "a gift", dropping Helenius' ranking from fifth to sixth challenger.[5][6] On the other hand, his slugger fighting style has been described as lazy but powerful; he looks to be not doing much, but keeps putting men down.[7]

The injury required an operation and to achieve complete healing and to minimize any possibility of further injury, a long break from fights. After a year away from boxing, Helenius beat veteran Sherman "The Caribbean Tank" Williams on points on 10 November 2012 in Helsinki keeping his clean record. The fight was the main event on the only Sauerland Events Viasat Nordic Fight Night card so far held outside of Denmark. On 23 March 2013 in Magdeburg, Germany, Helenius won his match against Michael Sprott on points in 10-round match. Helenius broke his right hand wrist in fight.[8]

Due to contract disputes with Team Sauerland, Helenius was inactive for two years, before breaking off the contract with Sauerland in February 2015.[9] Sauerland did not accept the one-sided break of contract and took the issue to the court.[10]

Return to the ring and second European championshipEdit

Helenius returned to the ring on 21 March 2015 in Tallinn, when he faced Andras Csomor.[11] On 13 June 2015 Helenius fought against Georgian champion Beka Lobjanidze at Vaasa, Finland. Lobjanidze stood no chance and went to floor in every round before retiring from the fight during the third.

On 19 December 2015, Helenius was supposed to face Erkan Teper for the EBU heavyweight title, but Teper since cancelled the match and had to give up his title due an injury.[12] With Teper pulling out Helenius was matched with replacement opponent undefeated Franz Rill the bout would contest the EBU European heavyweight title vacated by Teper as well as the IBF international heavyweight title. Helenius scored a clear and decisive 12 round unanimous decision; Rill was aggressive but Helenius dominated proceedings with his jab and powerful counter punching sending his opponent to the canvas in both the first and fourth rounds.[13]

On 20 January 2016, Helenius vacated the European belt after refusing to fight mandatory challenger Derek Chisora.[14] Instead, Helenius faced Johann Duhaupas for the vacant WBC Silver Heavyweight title on 2 April in Helsinki.[15] The match ended with Duhaupas knocking Helenius out in the sixth round marking the first loss for previously undefeated Helenius.[16]

On 10 September 2016, Helenius faced German boxer Konstantin Airich in his home town Marienhamn. This was his first fight after the knockout defeat against Duhaupas. Helenius finished the match in the first round knocking Airich out after 49 seconds.[17]

In October 2016 Helenius and Sauerland announced that they had come in terms with their contract dispute from 2015 and would organize at least two more matches together.[18]

On 17 December 2016 Helenius beat Argentinian Gonzalo Basile in 48 seconds in a lackluster scrab at Hartwall Arena, Helsinki.

On 24 March 2017 it was announced that Helenius would get a much awaited rematch against Derek Chisora at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. The same arena they fought at when Helenius won a controversial split decision in December 2011. The bout would have contested for the vacant WBC Silver heavyweight title on 27 May 2017.[19][20] On 16 May, the fight was however postponed to take place after summer 2017.[21] After Chisora rematch was postponed, Helenius went on to face Russian Evgeny Orlov on 17 June 2017 and did gain an easy victory in 6th round.[22]

On 15 October 2017, it was announced that Helenius would face Dillian Whyte on 28 October, after Whyte had had a hard time finding an opponent.[23] Whyte controlled the match from the third round on and eventually won by a twelve-round unanimous decision.[24] Helenius commented afterwards that he knew the risks for accepting the match on such fast notice and with only a week of training, but took the risk in a need for money.[25]

On 17 March 2018, Helenius faced Yury Bykhautsou in Rakvere, Estonia. Helenius got injured during the match, but ended up winning by an 8-round split decision.[26] Disappointed with his performance during the match, Helenius negotiated a rematch with Bykhautsou for 11 August 2018 in Olavinlinna.[27] Rematch ended with Helenius landing another victory, this time by a unanimous decision.[28]

On 29 September 2018, Helenius faced Erkan Teper for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title. The bout continued fairly even until the eight round, when Helenius knocked out Teper.[29]

After almost a year away from the ring, Helenius made his first appearance in the United States, facing Gerald Washington on 13 July 2019. He lost the bout via knockout in the eighth round.

On 30 November 2019, Helenius faced Mateus Roberto Osorio in Narva, Estonia. After dropping Osorio in the end of the first round, Helenius went on to knock him out via a body punch in the second round.[30]

On 7 March 2020, Helenius squared off against undefeated Adam Kownacki in a WBA title eliminator. While Kownacki was the heavy favorite, Helenius pulled off a significant upset by stopping Kownacki in the fourth round winning the vacant WBA Gold heavyweight title in the process. The victory lined up Helenius as the mandatory challenger for titlist Anthony Joshua.[31]

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Helenius lived in Sweden until the age of two. He holds both Finnish and Swedish citizenship, and has represented Sweden in a few matches after having a dispute with the Finnish boxing association.[32]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
33 fights 30 wins 3 losses
By knockout 19 2
By decision 11 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
33 Win 30–3   Adam Kownacki TKO 4 (12), 1:08 7 Mar 2020   Barclays Center, New York City, New York, US Won vacant WBA Gold heavyweight title
32 Win 29–3   Mateus Roberto Osorio TKO 2 (8), 2:02 30 Nov 2019   Vaba Lava, Narva, Estonia
31 Loss 28–3   Gerald Washington KO 8 (10), 2:32 13 Jul 2019   Minneapolis Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
30 Win 28–2   Erkan Teper KO 8 (12), 3:00 29 Sep 2018   Ritter-Sport-Stadion, Waldenbuch, Germany Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental heavyweight title
29 Win 27–2   Yury Bykhautsou UD 6 11 Aug 2018   Olavinlinna, Savonlinna, Finland
28 Win 26–2   Yury Bykhautsou SD 8 17 Mar 2018   Rakvere Spordikeskus, Rakvere, Estonia
27 Loss 25–2   Dillian Whyte UD 12 28 Oct 2017   Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales For vacant WBC Silver heavyweight title
26 Win 25–1   Evgeny Orlov RTD 6 (10), 3:00 17 Jun 2017   Kalev, Tallinn, Estonia Won vacant WBC International Silver heavyweight title
25 Win 24–1   Gonzalo Basile TKO 1 (12), 0:48 17 Dec 2016   Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland
24 Win 23–1   Konstantin Airich KO 1 (8), 0:49 10 Sep 2016   Baltichallen, Mariehamn, Finland
23 Loss 22–1   Johann Duhaupas KO 6 (12), 3:08 2 Apr 2016   Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland For vacant WBC Silver heavyweight title
22 Win 22–0   Franz Rill UD 12 19 Dec 2015   Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland Won vacant IBF International and European heavyweight titles
21 Win 21–0   Beka Lobjanidze KO 3 (8), 0:47 13 Jun 2015   Vaasa Arena, Vaasa, Finland
20 Win 20–0   András Csomor TKO 1 (6), 1:02 21 Mar 2015   Tondiraba Ice Hall, Tallinn, Estonia
19 Win 19–0   Michael Sprott UD 10 23 Mar 2013   GETEC Arena, Magdeburg, Germany
18 Win 18–0   Sherman Williams UD 10 10 Nov 2012   Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland
17 Win 17–0   Derek Chisora SD 12 3 Dec 2011   Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland Retained WBA Inter-Continental and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight titles;
Won vacant European heavyweight title
16 Win 16–0   Siarhei Liakhovich TKO 9 (12), 0:19 27 Aug 2011   Messehalle, Erfurt, Germany Retained WBA Inter-Continental and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight titles
15 Win 15–0   Samuel Peter KO 9 (12), 1:50 2 Apr 2011   Gerry Weber Stadion, Halle, Germany Retained WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title;
Won vacant WBA Inter-Continental heavyweight title
14 Win 14–0   Attila Levin TKO 2 (12), 1:20 27 Nov 2010   Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland Retained European Union heavyweight title;
Won vacant WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title
13 Win 13–0   Grégory Tony TKO 6 (12), 0:39 21 Aug 2010   Messehalle, Erfurt, Germany Won vacant European Union heavyweight title
12 Win 12–0   Gbenga Oloukun UD 8 26 Mar 2010   Töölön Kisahalli, Helsinki, Finland
11 Win 11–0   Lamon Brewster TKO 8 (10), 2:31 30 Jan 2010   Jahnsportforum, Neubrandenburg, Germany
10 Win 10–0   Taras Bidenko RTD 3 (8), 3:00 7 Nov 2009   Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg, Germany
9 Win 9–0   Serdar Uysal KO 6 (8), 2:37 29 Aug 2009   Gerry Weber Stadion, Halle, Germany
8 Win 8–0   Scott Gammer KO 6 (8), 1:52 30 May 2009   Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland
7 Win 7–0   Özcan Çetinkaya TKO 2 (8), 1:36 9 May 2009   JAKO Arena, Bamberg, Germany
6 Win 6–0   Enrico Garmendia TKO 1 (6), 2:13 28 Feb 2009   Jahnsportforum, Neubrandenburg, Germany
5 Win 5–0   Remigijus Ziausys UD 6 28 Nov 2008   Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland
4 Win 4–0   Nikola Vujasinovic UD 4 8 Nov 2008   JAKO Arena, Bamberg, Germany
3 Win 3–0   Engin Solmaz UD 4 5 Sep 2008   Nöjesfabriken, Karlstad, Sweden
2 Win 2–0   David Vicena UD 4 7 Jun 2008   Mellringehallen, Örebro, Sweden
1 Win 1–0   Gene Pukall TKO 1 (4), 2:41 17 May 2008   Oberfrankenhalle, Bayreuth, Germany

Television viewershipEdit


Date Fight Viewership (avg.) Network Source(s)
2 April 2011
Robert Helenius vs. Samuel Peter
Das Erste
27 August 2011
Robert Helenius vs. Siarhei Liakhovich
Das Erste
3 December 2011
Robert Helenius vs. Derek Chisora
Das Erste [33]
23 March 2013
Robert Helenius vs. Michael Sprott
Das Erste
Total viewership 9,700,000


  1. ^ "SM-Nyrkkeilyt 2001 Töölön Kisahalli, HKI" (in Finnish). Suomen Nyrkkeilyliitto. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  2. ^ "SM-Nyrkkeilyt 2002 Töölön Kisahalli, HKI" (in Finnish). Suomen Nyrkkeilyliitto. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  3. ^ "Käsivammainen Helenius on valmis uusintaan". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved Jan 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Heleniuksen käsivamma pelättyä lievempi". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved Jan 7, 2011.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b "Ring Ratings Update: Sorting out the bantamweights". December 6, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Heleniuksen lakimies Kari Uoti: Sauerland-sopimus irtisanottu". Ilta-sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Robert Helenius on haastettu oikeuteen" (in Finnish). Yle. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Yllätyskäänne: Robert Heleniuksen paluuottelun vastustaja tulee Unkarista". Helsingin sanomat (in Finnish). March 13, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  12. ^ "Robert Heleniuksen vastustaja vetäytyy EM-titteliottelusta". Ilta-sanomat (in Finnish). 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  13. ^ "EM-tittelin iskenyt Robert Helenius takoi vastustajansa kaksi kertaa kanveesiin: "Vastustaja oli taistelijatyyppi" – kuvakooste illan ottelusta". Helsingin sanomat (in Finnish). 20 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  14. ^ "Robert Helenius luopuu EM-tittelistään!". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 20 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Robert Helenius kohtaa ranskalaisnyrkkeilijän". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 8 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Robert Helenius tyrmättiin rajusti – "Tulen vahvempana takaisin"". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Robert Helenius palasi kehään – tyrmäsi vastustajansa 49 sekunnissa". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 10 September 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Robert Helenius ja Sauerland jälleen yhteistyöhön – "Raskaan sarjan maailmanmestaruus Suomeen"". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 20 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Helenius vs. Chisora Rematch Finalized, May 27 in Finland - Boxing News". Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  20. ^ "Helenius-Chisora rematch to take place May 27". Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  21. ^ "Helenius-Chisora II to be rescheduled • Boxing News". Boxing News. 2017-05-16. Archived from the original on 2017-05-17. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  22. ^ "Venäläisvastustaja väsähti – Robert Heleniukselle helppo voitto Tallinnassa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  23. ^ "Joshua vs Pulev: Dillian Whyte to face Robert Helenius at Principality Stadium on October 28". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  24. ^ "Robert Heleniukselle tappio Cardiffissa – Dillian Whyte vei ottelun selvästi". Ilta-Sanomat. 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  25. ^ "Robert Helenius kommentoi raskasta tappiotaan voipuneena Facebookissa: "Tarvitsin rahat"". Ilta-Sanomat. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  26. ^ "Robert Helenius otteli "yksikätisenä" Virossa – voitti tuomaripistein". Ilta-Sanomat. 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  27. ^ "Robert Heleniuksen seuraava ottelu varmistui – mahdollisuus maksaa kalavelkoja". Ilta-Sanomat. 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  28. ^ "Robert Helenius lyötiin rättiväsyneeksi, pyristely päättyi silti voittoon - yleisö buuasi!". Iltalehti. 2018-08-11. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  29. ^ "Kova vasuri ratkaisi! Robert Helenius tyrmäsi saksalaisvastustajansa". Yle. 2018-09-30. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  30. ^ Tomi Salomaa (December 1, 2019). "Robert Helenius tyrmäsi – videotallenne todistaa "väliottelun" surkuhupaisuuden" (in Finnish).
  31. ^ Scott Christ (March 7, 2020). "Kownacki vs Helenius results: Robert Helenius shocks Adam Kownacki, wins fourth round TKO". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  32. ^ "Tiesitkö tämän Robbesta?". (in Finnish). Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  33. ^ "Zitter sieg mit kaputter Hand" (in German). Retrieved 16 May 2020.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Francesco Pianeta
European Union
heavyweight champion

21 August 2010 – April 2011
Title next held by
Richard Towers
Title last held by
Alexander Dimitrenko
WBO Inter-Continental
heavyweight champion

27 November 2010 – July 2012
Title next held by
Tyson Fury
Title last held by
Denis Boytsov
WBA Inter-Continental
heavyweight champion

2 April 2011 – July 2012
Title next held by
David Haye
Title last held by
Alexander Dimitrenko
European heavyweight champion
3 December 2011 – May 2012
Title next held by
Kubrat Pulev
Title last held by
Erkan Teper
European heavyweight champion
19 December 2015 – April 2016
Title next held by
Kubrat Pulev
Title last held by
Artur Szpilka
IBF International
heavyweight champion

19 December 2015 – April 2016
Title next held by
Franz Rill
Title last held by
Carlos Takam
IBF Inter-Continental
heavyweight champion

29 September 2018 – present