Robert Helenius: Injury May End Career
Robert Helenius' boxing career could be over.
Finnish fighter Robert Helenius (17-0, 12 KO), considered a top ten heavyweight by most in the boxing media, will be out of action for awhile.
Helenius, 28, will undergo extensive shoulder surgery on Thursday and the recovery time is estimated to be at least six months. He will likely lose his European Heavyweight Championship belt but that's the least of his concerns at the moment.
According to sources, the Finnish fighter started experiencing shoulder problems six weeks before his highly controversial December bout against Dereck Chisora.
"A Major Cockup"
Calling it "a major cockup," Karl Helenius, the fighter's father, is allegedly livid his son was given the 'green light' to fight Chisora by coach Ulli Wegner and German promotional team, Sauerland.
It's not known to what extent Robert Helenius' team knew about the injury prior to the Chisora bout.
"Robert has not picked up the phone even when I have called him. What is positive about this is that now Robert will have a chance to rest and recharge properly", Karl Helenius stated.
After Robert Helenius' right shoulder was examined in Stuttgart, the initial prognosis for a successful return to boxing was not good. The Finnish slugger snapped a ligament in his right shoulder after suffering a hard fall while running. As a result, other ligaments were damaged so parts of his collarbone will also need reconstruction.
Acknowledging his injury is potentially career-ending, Helenius told Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, "Pretty heavy news." He also stated the operation would have been less serious had it been performed shortly after his fall.
Helenius' Most Recent Bout
On December 3, 2011, Robert Helenius won the vacant European Championship title (EBU) by beating Brit Dereck Chisora via a split decision in Helsinki, Finland. The decision was hotly criticized by fans and the media as the more aggressive Chisorsa appeared to outbox, out-slug and out-hustle the sluggish-looking Finn in at least 9 of the 12 rounds fought.
After the bout, Helenius claimed he'd injured his right arm in the first round. Although a fracture was later found, it was allegedly considered minor.
Helenius vs Dimitrenko
Helenius was supposed to face Ukrainian-German Aleksandr Dimitrenko, another heavyweight who's considered by many experts to be among the division's top ten. But at the moment, Helenius is not thinking about Dimitrenko.
"I don't care if I lose the title (due to his inability to defend his belt in the next 90 days) as long as I get my shoulder sorted out", Helenius said.
Despite the less-than-glowing prognosis, the fighter known as the 'Nordic Nightmare' remained optimistic, asserting he'd be back. "I am extremely motivated to get back to the ring", Helenius told YLE.
Although a decision has yet to be made about Helenius' EBU title, it will likely be made vacant. Since Dimitrenko was the mandatory challenger, he is expected to be given the opportunity to fight someone else for Helenius' soon-to-be vacated EBU title.
Helenius turned pro in 2008 and owns knockout wins over Sergei Liakhovich, Sam Peter, Attila Levin and Lamon Brewster.