Deontay Wilder is back, and back with a bang after a first-round knockout victory over Robert Helenius in their WBC heavyweight eliminator in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
‘The Bronze Bomber’ improved his record to 43-2-1 with yet another victory inside distance at Barclays Center with a short right hand that poleaxed Helenius just before the end of the opening session.
Wilder, who turns 37 next Saturday, proved that he is far from finished following back-to-back defeats by Tyson Fury in doing what he has always done best, demolishing opponents with one single punch.
Wilder power brings Helenius KO
Helenius (now 31-4) came into this bout rejuvenated following impressive back-t0-back wins over Adam Kownacki, and he forced the pace for most of the opening round here.
But as he tried to attack Wilder on the ropes in the final 10 seconds of the round he was caught flush by that sharp and short right-hand counter which promptly ended proceedings.
Now attention will turn to what comes next for Wilder – who remains one of the most marketable attractions in the heavyweight division. There has been talk of a long-awaited blockbuster vs Anthony Joshua while the logical next step is a WBC final eliminator vs Andy Ruiz Jr.
What comes next for Deontay Wilder?
Deontay himself said afterwards: “I’ve been hearing rumors about (unified heavyweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk but he’s not here is he?” said Wilder. “When guys see these knockouts they turn the corner away from me. I’m ready for whatever. Whether it’s Andy Ruiz Jr. or Usyk, I’m ready. Deontay is back and the excitement in the heavyweight division is back.”
“I set him up,” added Wilder. “I allowed him to reach and when he reached I attacked. It was a great fight. It’s been a good camp for me. We worked to make this fun for me. We work at this so much that it can just become a job. We made it fun again. We put in over 700 rounds and it paid off tonight big time.”
Wilder (214lbs) came into the ring around 24lbs lighter than he had for that trilogy fight with Fury, and he said the meticulous preparation had not only paid off, but it was something he actually enjoyed.
“It’s been a good camp for me,” said Wilder. “We worked to make this fun for me. We work at this so much that it can just become a job. We made it fun again. We put in over 700 rounds and it paid off tonight big time.”