By Mikko Salo: Now it is official: The Ring #5 heavyweight contender and mandatory challenger for the EBU European title Robert “Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (16-0, 11 KO) of Finland will face Derek “Del Boy” Chisora (15-1, 9 KO) of Britain in a bout for the vacant European title in Hartwall Areena, Helsinki, Finland on December 3rd.
The opponent for Helenius has been a question mark for a while, but the situation cleared out when the EBU made the decision to strip reigning European titlist, The Ring #6 contender Alexander Dimitrenko (32-1, 21 KO) of his title. Dimitrenko is currently unable to defend his belt due to injury and the new titlist is mandated to fight Dimitrenko as soon as possible after the Helsinki bout.
Helenius vs Chisora for the vacant European title in Helsinki has reportedly been in the works for some time but the EBU rules stated that a challenger could not be coming to the title ring following a loss. Chisora lost his British and Commonwealth titles in July to Tyson Fury (17-0, 12 KO), so there was a problem with him fighting for the belt. The problem was solved last Friday when Chisora scored a 6-round decision win over Remigijus Ziausys (19-44-3, 9 KO) of Lithuania. Subsequently the EBU board made the decision concerning the title value for the Helsinki bout. In case the fight didn`t get European title recognition Helenius was prepared to fight American Jonathon Banks (27-1-1, 18 KO), a former challenger for The Ring Cruiserweight Championship.
Robert Helenius was naturally pleased that the upcoming bout is for the European title. “I am interested in the European title. It is a big title on the way to The Heavyweight Championship of the World. Chisora is an aggressive fighter and that suits me well. I have the advantage in height and reach, and I can make use of that. In any case, the fight is not going to be easy”, Helenius predicted for the Finnish daily Iltalehti.
“The Night of the Heavyweights” card also features The Ring #2 heavyweight contender Alexander Povetkin (22-0, 15 KO) of Russia facing American Cedric Boswell (35-1, 26 KO). The event has already sold over 7 000 tickets although Helenius`s opponent has been unknown up to this point. Helenius is rising fast to a superstar status in his native Finland. If he wins the European title on his home soil in less than three weeks, his star will keep on rising.
November 14, 2011