Deontay Wilder stuns Robert Helenius with first-round knockout

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Deontay Wilder didn’t need very long to snap his losing streak.

In the first round of his bout against Robert Helenius on Saturday night, Helenius thought he was on the attack by moving Wilder into the corner. But it’s almost exactly where Wilder wanted to be. He hit Helenius with a huge right hand to the face and sent him down to the mat. Helenius looked stunned as he was on the ground.

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Deontay Wilder knocks out Swedish-Finnish boxer Robert Helenius in the 1st round of their 12-round WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on October 15, 2022. 

Deontay Wilder knocks out Swedish-Finnish boxer Robert Helenius in the 1st round of their 12-round WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on October 15, 2022. 
(ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

“I set him up,” Wilder said. “I allowed him to reach, and when he reached, I attacked. It was a great fight.”

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The win marks Wilder’s first since defeating Luis Ortiz via knockout in November 2019. He had two consecutive bouts against Tyson Fury and lost. Fury won via TKO in February 2020 and via knockout in October 2021.

US boxer Deontay Wilder (R) fights Swedish-Finnish boxer Robert Helenius during their 12-round WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on October 15, 2022.

US boxer Deontay Wilder (R) fights Swedish-Finnish boxer Robert Helenius during their 12-round WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on October 15, 2022.
(ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Wilder could look to get a heavyweight title shot against Oleksandr Usyk, who owns three title belts. Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. could be next in line for a bout against Wilder.

“I’ve been hearing rumors about Usyk, but he’s not here, is he?” Wilder said. “When guys see these knockouts, they turn the corner away from me.”

Before a split decision draw against Fury in 2018 and the two most recent knockouts, Wilder was undefeated against every other opponent. He has never faced Joshua or Ruiz.

Robert Helenius lays on the ground in the 1st round of their 12-round WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on October 15, 2022.

Robert Helenius lays on the ground in the 1st round of their 12-round WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on October 15, 2022.
(ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Helenius’ loss snapped his three-bout winning streak. He had beaten Adam Kownacki twice and Mateus Roberto Osorio before the Wilder loss.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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