Robert Helenius sets next bout
Heavyweights Robert Helenius and David Price, both of whom are often mentioned as future challengers for champion Wladimir Klitschko, are set for their next fights, their promoters announced on Monday.
Helenius (17-0, 11 KOs), 28, of Finland, will face journeyman Sherman "The Tank" Williams (35-11-2, 19 KOs) on Nov. 10 in Helsinki in a fight that will be carried on American premium network Epix as part of a split-site card that will be headlined by Klitschko's title defense against Mariusz Wach in Hamburg, Germany.
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Price (14-0, 12 KOs), 29, a 2008 British Olympic bronze medalist, will fight in his hometown of Liverpool, England, against former world title challenger Matt Skelton on Nov. 30.
Helenius, who matches Klitschko's size at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, will fight for the first time since winning a controversial decision against England's Dereck Chisora in December in Finland.
Helenius, who is nicknamed the "Nordic Nightmare" and owns knockout wins against former titleholders Lamon Brewster, Sergei Liakhovich and Samuel Peter, has been out of action for a year following right shoulder surgery after the fight with Chisora. But now he is healthy and ready to return.
"The contracts have been signed, 'The Tank' is coming to Finland. This is going to be a tough test for Robert in his comeback," promoter Nisse Sauerland said. "Williams is experienced, rugged and strong. But for Robert to make an impact at the world level, he has to get rid of everyone. With the help of his fantastic Finnish fans, I am sure that he will break down 'The Tank' and continue his winning streak."
"Williams has proven his class in a lot of battles, he is strong and rugged, but he will not leave Finland victorious," Helenius said. "I am taller, I am stronger and I am better. 'The Tank' will crash in Helsinki on Nov. 10."
Williams, 40, who was born in the Bahamas but is based in Florida. His notable opponents include former titlist Ruslan Chagaev, who won an eight-round decision in 2005, and a three-round no-contest against former champion Evander Holyfield in 2011.
"I look forward to coming to Finland and defeating Helenius in front of his home fans," said Williams, who is 5-11 and 245 pounds. "What's a Nightmare compared to a Tank? Robert is a good fighter, and he has my respect. The fight will be one that fans will remember. I am coming to fight.
"This will be like David fighting Goliath. I am David, a true warrior. A shorter fighter fighting a big tall giant. The bigger the giant, the harder they fall.
A news conference is scheduled for Thursday in Helsinki to make the formal announcement.
Price, who would have a size advantage against Klitschko at 6-8, 247 pounds, will be defending his British and Commonwealth titles for the second time when he faces Skelton.
In his first defense on Oct. 13, Price destroyed 2000 British Olympic gold medalist and former world title challenger Audley Harrison in just 82 seconds.
Skelton (28-6, 23 KOs), 45, a former European, British and Commonwealth champion, knocked out Jakov Gospic in the second round on the undercard knowing a fight with Price loomed as long as they both won.
"Matt was on stand-by in case Audley pulled out," Price said. "He went through with his part of the deal, so we'll go through with ours. I am aware he is 45, but he has won major championships and challenged for the world title. I have only boxed 14 times as a professional and still learning, and Matt will bring something new for me."
In January 2008, Skelton got his only world title opportunity and lost a unanimous decision to Chagaev in Germany.
Price promoter Frank Maloney will formally announce the card at a news conference in Liverpool on Wednesday.