At six feet and seven inches tall Robert ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ Helenius poses an interesting task for Dillian Whyte in Cardiff next weekend. With a record of 25-1, Helenius could be considered Whyte’s toughest fight since Anthony Joshua. The Swedish-Finnish heavyweight’s most notable victory amongst British boxing fans comes in the shape of Dereck Chisora in a controversial split decision win in Finland back in 2011.
When speaking to Robert Helenius regarding his upcoming fight with Dillian Whyte, his response wasn’t exactly complimentary “I am very confident. I think it’s the perfect fight for me. Dillian Whyte is a fighter that is beneath me in terms of ability.”
Clearly confident and excited about the opportunity to showcase his boxing ability in Cardiff, Robert Helenius has been building a popular reputation in other areas of Europe. Fighting mainly in Germany and most often in his native Finland. When I asked Robert about the prospect of fighting in the UK and mixing it with the bigger names in the division, he told me.
“With a lot of Heavyweight fighters in the UK, it’s a great chance to show my skills.”
In April of 2016 ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ looked set to be on course for a crack at Deontay Wilder’s WBC Heavyweight title, only to lose out after a crushing KO defeat to Johann Duhaupas for the WBC Silver Heavyweight title. Since the defeat Helenius has wasted no time trying to put it behind him raking up three stoppage wins out three since. I asked Robert if he felt he has progressed since his defeat in 2016.
“Yes. I have been progressing on all levels in my last three fights! I am a hard-hitting counter puncher, so we have been perfecting those skills and fighting regularly to help me to do so.”
Born in Sweden, Helenius moved with his family to Finland at the age of two. Coming from a large family and being the youngest of five boys he jokingly tells me.
“I was the youngest of five boys. I had to fight my brothers. That was a fight in itself!”
Helenius turned to boxing from a young age. Something that was almost inevitable, considering his father was a boxing trainer. Helenius has been boxing since he was 5 years old and went on to build an impressive amateur record which included; two European bronze medals at junior level and a silver in the 2006 European championship.
It’s been a bumpy road at times for ‘The Nordic Nightmare’, with court case over a contract dispute with Sauerland Promotions and periods of inactivity we clearly haven’t seen the full potential of the Finnish heavyweight.
Come October 28th we could possibly see it all come together, as Helenius takes on the 4th British fighter in his professional career. Standing at an imposing 6ft 7, the well schooled Helenius will be looking to make a big impact on an ever developing heavyweight division.
By Adam Noble-Forcey