Robert Helenius is training again, and the 'Nordic Nightmare' hopes to be back in the ring this fall. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Heavyweight contender Robert Helenius is back in training, and is targeting a November return to the ring, which would come 11 months after his last fight, a controversial win last December over Dereck Chisora.
Helenius (17-0, 11 KO) had been on a very good run before that, beating former titlists Siarhei Liakhovich and Samuel Peter by stoppage, following a series of solid, European circuit-level wins over competent opposition. The Chisora fight saw Helenius outworked by the smaller, more aggressive man, with his one-shot power unable to make up the difference. Fighting at home, Helenius reserved a split decision nod in Helsinki, which few besides Helenius supporters took very seriously.
But about a month after the fight, it was revealed that Helenius had come into the fight with an injured shoulder, which had been made worse in the ring. He faced shoulder surgery and a potentially long layoff. Word even floated around that the injury could be career-threatening for the 6'6" "Nordic Nightmare," but thankfully that hasn't turned out to be the case.
There's no opponent in mind just yet, as far as anyone knows, but I wouldn't be expecting some marquee fight. Helenius will surely return with at least one easy, or fairly easy, tune-up bout, and I think that's fair after a legitimate injury layoff, particularly one of this length. It's good news that he's back in the game. When he's at his best, he's quite enjoyable to watch, and has the game-changing power we look for in the big boys. I'm looking forward to his return.