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.
Helenius in 2010
|Nickname(s)||The Nordic Nightmare|
|Height||1.981 m (6 ft 6 in)|
|Reach||201 cm (79 in)|
|Born||2 January 1984|
|Wins by KO||19|
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.
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.
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. A fracture was found, but it was considered to be minor. 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'.
The Ring considered the outcome of the match "a gift", dropping Helenius' ranking from fifth to sixth challenger. 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.
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.
Due to contract disputes with Team Sauerland, Helenius was inactive for two years, before breaking off the contract with Sauerland in February 2015. Sauerland did not accept the one-sided break of contract and took the issue to the court.
Return to the ring and second European championshipEdit
Helenius returned to the ring on 21 March 2015 in Tallinn, when he faced Andras Csomor. 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. 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.
On 20 January 2016, Helenius vacated the European belt after refusing to fight mandatory challenger Derek Chisora. Instead, Helenius faced Johann Duhaupas for the vacant WBC Silver Heavyweight title on 2 April in Helsinki. The match ended with Duhaupas knocking Helenius out in the sixth round marking the first loss for previously undefeated Helenius.
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.
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.
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. On 16 May, the fight was however postponed to take place after summer 2017. 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.
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. Whyte controlled the match from the third round on and eventually won by a twelve-round unanimous decision. 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.
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. Disappointed with his performance during the match, Helenius negotiated a rematch with Bykhautsou for 11 August 2018 in Olavinlinna. Rematch ended with Helenius landing another victory, this time by a unanimous decision.
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.
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.
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.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|33 fights||30 wins||3 losses|
|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|
2 April 2011
|Robert Helenius vs. Samuel Peter||
27 August 2011
|Robert Helenius vs. Siarhei Liakhovich||
3 December 2011
|Robert Helenius vs. Derek Chisora||
23 March 2013
|Robert Helenius vs. Michael Sprott||
- "SM-Nyrkkeilyt 2001 Töölön Kisahalli, HKI" (in Finnish). Suomen Nyrkkeilyliitto. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
- "SM-Nyrkkeilyt 2002 Töölön Kisahalli, HKI" (in Finnish). Suomen Nyrkkeilyliitto. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
- "Käsivammainen Helenius on valmis uusintaan". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved Jan 7, 2011.
- "Heleniuksen käsivamma pelättyä lievempi". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved Jan 7, 2011.
- "Ring Ratings Update: Sorting out the bantamweights". December 6, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
- "Heleniuksen lakimies Kari Uoti: Sauerland-sopimus irtisanottu". Ilta-sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- "Robert Helenius on haastettu oikeuteen" (in Finnish). Yle. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
- "Yllätyskäänne: Robert Heleniuksen paluuottelun vastustaja tulee Unkarista". Helsingin sanomat (in Finnish). March 13, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- "Robert Heleniuksen vastustaja vetäytyy EM-titteliottelusta". Ilta-sanomat (in Finnish). 1 December 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
- "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.
- "Robert Helenius luopuu EM-tittelistään!". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 20 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
- "Robert Helenius kohtaa ranskalaisnyrkkeilijän". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 8 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- "Robert Helenius tyrmättiin rajusti – "Tulen vahvempana takaisin"". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- "Robert Helenius palasi kehään – tyrmäsi vastustajansa 49 sekunnissa". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 10 September 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- "Robert Helenius ja Sauerland jälleen yhteistyöhön – "Raskaan sarjan maailmanmestaruus Suomeen"". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 20 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
- "Helenius vs. Chisora Rematch Finalized, May 27 in Finland - Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
- "Helenius-Chisora rematch to take place May 27". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
- "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.
- "Venäläisvastustaja väsähti – Robert Heleniukselle helppo voitto Tallinnassa". Ilta-Sanomat. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
- "Joshua vs Pulev: Dillian Whyte to face Robert Helenius at Principality Stadium on October 28". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "Robert Heleniukselle tappio Cardiffissa – Dillian Whyte vei ottelun selvästi". Ilta-Sanomat. 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "Robert Helenius kommentoi raskasta tappiotaan voipuneena Facebookissa: "Tarvitsin rahat"". Ilta-Sanomat. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "Robert Helenius otteli "yksikätisenä" Virossa – voitti tuomaripistein". Ilta-Sanomat. 2018-03-17. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
- "Robert Heleniuksen seuraava ottelu varmistui – mahdollisuus maksaa kalavelkoja". Ilta-Sanomat. 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
- "Robert Helenius lyötiin rättiväsyneeksi, pyristely päättyi silti voittoon - yleisö buuasi!". Iltalehti. 2018-08-11. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
- "Kova vasuri ratkaisi! Robert Helenius tyrmäsi saksalaisvastustajansa". Yle. 2018-09-30. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
- Tomi Salomaa (December 1, 2019). "Robert Helenius tyrmäsi – videotallenne todistaa "väliottelun" surkuhupaisuuden" (in Finnish). iltalehti.fi.
- 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.
- "Tiesitkö tämän Robbesta?". Iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- "Zitter sieg mit kaputter Hand" (in German). Retrieved 16 May 2020.
- Boxing record for Robert Helenius from BoxRec
- Robert Helenius profile at Finnish Boxing Online (in Finnish) (archived)
- Robert Helenius amateur record at Finnish Boxing Online (in Finnish) (archived)
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byFrancesco Pianeta
| European Union
21 August 2010 – April 2011
Title next held byRichard Towers
Title last held byAlexander Dimitrenko
| WBO Inter-Continental
27 November 2010 – July 2012
Title next held byTyson Fury
Title last held byDenis Boytsov
| WBA Inter-Continental
2 April 2011 – July 2012
Title next held byDavid Haye
Title last held byAlexander Dimitrenko
| European heavyweight champion
3 December 2011 – May 2012
Title next held byKubrat Pulev
Title last held byErkan Teper
| European heavyweight champion
19 December 2015 – April 2016
Title next held byKubrat Pulev
Title last held byArtur Szpilka
| IBF International
19 December 2015 – April 2016
Title next held byFranz Rill
Title last held byCarlos Takam
| IBF Inter-Continental
29 September 2018 – present