Robert Helenius continued his successful comeback trail after his lengthy spell on the sideline due to a shoulder injury. The “Nordic Nightmare” beat Britain’s Michael Sprott by unanimous decision and still holds his perfect record of 19 wins out of as many fights. However, by failing to score a stoppage or truly dominating, Helenius failed to rebuild his lost career momentum.
Helenius, the WBO’s number one ranked heavyweight, was in control for most parts of the fight. The Finn kept his opponent at bay with his jab, taking full advantage of his superior height and reach. However, during the first few rounds the 29-year-old did not follow up with his powerful right hand.
“My shoulder is completely fine now. The problem was that my right hand started to hurt a little bit,” said Helenius. “It is probably also a mental thing that I didn’t use my right that often.”
However he did start to throw some combinations halfway through the fight and landed some very good left hooks. Although Sprott did put all on one card during the last stint, it was not enough to seriously trouble the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner, who cemented his place at the top of the leaderboard of the World Boxing Organization. In the end the judges gave him the fight with scores of 98:93, 97:93 and 98:92.
George Groves once again showed his huge potential. The 24-year-old put on a classy performance against Baker Barakat from Syria. The British super-middleweight finished off his opponent after two minutes and 20 seconds of round two. A right power punch found its target and sent Barakat tumbling to the floor.
He did manage to get back up, but Groves saw his window of opportunity opened and went straight back into attack mode as soon as the referee let the fight continue. Only a few punches later however, the bout was stopped. The man from Syria was not able to defend himself any longer. Groves has now won all of his 18 professional fights and is still on target for a potential word title shot, although he now may have to wait a bit longer.
Groves was hoping to face Arthur Abraham, after the King defeated Robert Stieglitz for a second time. Of course, that’s not quite how things turned out, and now it seems as if Abraham-Stiegtliz III could be on the horizon.