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14 NOVEMBER 2018


The State of The Heavyweights: More of This, Please!

Helenius and Chisora battled in Helsinki
Helenius and Chisora battled in Helsinki

By Mikko Salo: On Saturday night in Helsinki, fight fans were treated to the most entertaining heavyweight fight of the year between two young and hungry pugilists who are sure to make an increasing amount of noise in the division in the coming years. Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KO), in dropping a controversial split decision against The Ring #5 contender Robert Helenius (17-0, 11 KO), redeemed himself after the lackluster 18 pounds heavier showing against Tyson Fury (17-0, 12 KO) in July. Helenius won the vacant European title, but was himself left with a lot to prove amid criticism towards the judges` decision.

Both fighters have legitimate reasons to want a rematch. Chisora controlled the action for most of the night and took the fight to Helenius as he had promised in the pre-fight build-up. Helenius on the other hand was scoring the cleaner shots, although Chisora definitely was the one throwing more and being the more active fighter. The overall opinion in the ringside press box where I was sitting seemed to be that the fight was close but Chisora probably had done enough to notch a win. I scored it 116-115 for the Briton. In the press conference afterwards Chisora was understandably upset and demanding a rematch. He had just fought the fight of his life and had nothing to show for it.

Helenius probably wants to get it on again just as much as Chisora. He hurt his right hand in the first round and had trouble keeping the charging Briton at a distance. Monday morning the hand was badly swollen and Helenius was going to have an MRI on it later during the day. Then the extent of the injury will be better known. After the fight it was also revealed by P3 Boxing`s Pekka Mäki and Helenius`s father Karl Helenius that the Finn came into the fight with an injured right shoulder he had been harboring for six weeks. Injuries are part of the fight business and every fighter has them, but Helenius understandably is very eager to prove that the Saturday performance was an injury-induced fluke. If he was fighting with a bum shoulder and 1,5 hands for practically the whole fight, he has to be given credit for his performance even when his victory might remain under scrutiny.

A rematch is certainly something that the fight fans want to see. In the press conference after the fight, Helenius`s promoter Wilfried Sauerland all but promised Chisora a new go at his man, but there are a couple of obstacles. Helenius is now obliged to defend his European crown against The Ring #6 contender Alexander Dimitrenko (32-1, 21 KO) in 90 days. The Finn´s health status is unclear and who knows what happens to the title if he is not able to step in the ring before the deadline. After Saturday`s spectacle both Sauerland and Warren also know that titles or no titles, there is definitely more money to be made in Helenius vs Chisora II than Helenius vs Dimitrenko, whose last fight was a 12-round snoozefest against Michael Sprott (36-17, 17 KO) in September.

The controversial decision aside, Helenius and Chisora treated us with the most exciting heavyweight fight of the year and they should be applauded for that. They should also be given the chance to settle the score in the ring. So Mr. Sauerland and Mr. Warren, make the rematch, both fighters and fight fans deserve it and you will maximize your euros and pounds. More of this, please!

December 5, 2011

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