Deontay Wilder made his ring return on Saturday after over a year and made an emphatic statement, knocking Robert Helenius out cold in the very first round. Wilder also set a new record with the win.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ broke the record for the fewest punches landed in a heavyweight knockout victory with just… three. Staggering.
It was unsure whether he would return to the ring following his KO loss to Tyson Fury in their trilogy fight, but Wilder showed no rustiness as he put Helenius to sleep at the end of the first. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist was very emotional after the fight as he appeared concerned for Helenius’ health.
“I always have concerns for all fighters”
Showing his support for Helenius he said:
“I’m a big advocate for fighters because, like I always say, boxing is not a sport. A sport is something you play. You don’t play this. We risk our lives for you guys’ entertainment and I speak that forever.”
Team Helenius later released an update, positively confirming that his medical check-ups were completed with no cause for concern. This was after he hinted at retirement in a conversation with Wilder while the two met and embraced after the fight.
As for the former WBC king, who successfully defended his belt ten times between 2015 and 2019, his short term future remains unsure.
Wilder was linked with fights with Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk during fight week and said he’d be ready for anyone in his post-fight interview but it looks certain that the WBC will call a final eliminator between him and Andy Ruiz Jr for Tyson Fury’s heavyweight title to take place in early 2023.