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Deontay Wilder returns with first-round KO against Robert Helenius

Deontay Wilder will be a huge issue in the heavyweight division if he has his enormous right hand. At the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday night, Wilder unleashed the most destructive force in boxing, which resulted in a thrilling knockout of Robert Helenius with three seconds remaining of the first round.

Given that Wilder had just suffered his second straight knockout loss to Tyson Fury, the victory was all the sweeter. "The Bronze Bomber" caught his former sparring partner as he was coming in with a right hand that landed flush to the face and dropped "The Nordic Nightmare" flat on his back for an instant knockout after Wilder and Helenius had spent the opening few seconds trying to figure one other out. With the victory, Wilder raises his record to 43-2-1 with 42 KOs.

For most of the round, he used his advantage of almost 40 pounds to push Wilder back, and he had him in the corner when Wilder unleashed the right hand that put an end to the Finnish fighter's dreams of advancing to a title shot.

“Robert has the heart of a champion, and I knew what he was capable of,” Wilder said. “I didn’t take him lightly at all. I know that he really wanted this. When you fight Deontay Wilder, you have to have you’re A-plus-plus game. … I set him up. I allowed him to reach and when he reached, I attacked. It was a great fight.”

One of Wilder's previous sparring partners from Finland, Helenius (31-4, 20 KOs), suffered his third professional knockout loss. First, in their fight in Helsinki, Finland, in April 2016, Johann Duhaupas of France submitted Helenius in the sixth round. In the eighth round, American Gerald Washington defeated Helenius in July 2019 at The Armory in Minneapolis. Helenius overcame the previously unbeaten Adam Kownacki in back-to-back matches to recover from what initially appeared to be a career-ending setback to Washington.

After demonstrating once more why his power makes him one of the sport's must-see attractions, Wilder might win the heavyweight title in a jiffy. He may attempt to compete with Oleksandr Usyk, who now holds the other three heavyweight titles in addition to the one Fury stole from Wilder. Wilder held a piece of the heavyweight title for five years. The names of former champions Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua will also be highlighted.

"I have been hearing rumors about Usyk, but he's not here, is he?" he added.

"When guys see these knockouts, they turn the corner away from me. So, I'm down for whatever, whether it's Andy Ruiz or Usyk, let's bring it on.

"Deontay is back and the excitement in the heavyweight division is back."

Later, Deontay Wilder bursts into tears when he discussed the dangers of boxing in his post-fight interview. Prichard Colon, who is currently being cared for by his family after sustaining a life-altering brain injury as a result of a fight in 2015, was the subject of an emotional speech by Wilder.

"Look at (Prichard) Colon. Prichard Colon. This man, not gonna have no kids (starts to cry). They don't understand, they don't **** understand what we go through man. And I don't even know him like that. But I'll always be an advocate for us because I think it's a great honor. This man will never know what it feels like to be somebody's father. But he may never be somebody's father man. This man will never have a natural child. Or the ability to live again because he got in the ring to support his family."


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