After two losses to Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder knocked out Robert Helenius in the first round on Saturday night, putting himself back on the winning side.
Before unleashing his right hand, which has long been regarded as the greatest in the business, the former heavyweight champion maneuvered conservatively for the majority of the round. Even before the fight was stopped, he was posing against the ropes because he knew it was done.
In his first fight since Fury twice stopped him in the 11th round last October after Fury recovered from two knockdowns, Wilder, 43-2-1 (42 KOs), triumphed decisively.
However, Helenius (31-4) refused to stand up after the straight right hand that finished the fight with three seconds left in the opening round at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Fury has so far been the only fighter to recover from four total knockdowns in their three battles, and he was able to handle Wilder’s strength. But Helenius was not enrolled in that course.
He moved Wilder back for the majority of the round using his advantage of about 40 pounds, and he was in the corner when Wilder unleashed the right that put an end to the Finnish fighter’s chances of advancing to a title shot.
After demonstrating once more why his power makes him one of the sport’s must-see attractions, Wilder might win the heavyweight title in a hurry.
He may try to challenge Oleksandr Usyk, who now holds the other three heavyweight titles in addition to the one Fury stole from Wilder. Usyk held a piece of the heavyweight title for five years. The names of former champions Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua will also be highlighted.
With most of the weight he added for the final two fights against Fury lost, Wilder entered the ring at barely 214.5 pounds, a weight that feels comfortable to him but is light for most heavyweights.
In his fist, it made no difference. He now has a record of 5-0 in Brooklyn, with five knockouts, the previous two coming in the opening frame.
Next week marks Wilder’s 37th birthday. He has stated that he only intends to compete for three more years, but in that time, he will do whatever it takes to win back the division’s top spot.
After Anthony Dirrell (34-3-2) was stopped by Caleb Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) in the ninth round of their super middleweight bout between former champions, Wilder began to engage in action. Plant lost his title in his previous contest when Canelo lvarez, the indisputable champion, stopped him.