Thursday, March 10, 2011
Robert Helenius to fight Samuel Peter
By Dan Rafael
Heavyweight prospect Robert Helenius, born in Finland, based in Germany and known as the "Nordic Nightmare," will take a major step up in competition when he faces former titleholder Samuel Peter, the "Nigerian Nightmare," on April 2.
The fight will take place in Halle, Germany, on the undercard of cruiserweight titlist Marco Huck's defense against Giacobbe Fragomeni.
"We are very pleased with Robert's development," Hagen Doering, of promoter Sauerland Event, said. "We have moved him very fast because he is a very special fighter with an incredible punch. Now is the time to take the next step, which is a showdown with Peter, a very dangerous opponent. It will be a spectacular fight. I am sure the 'Nordic Nightmare' will topple the 'Nigerian' one."
Helenius' most notable win came in January 2010, when he stopped former titleholder Lamon Brewster -- who was way past his prime -- in the eighth round and sent him into retirement.
Helenius (14-0, 9 KOs) has won three fights since the Brewster bout and his handlers now deem him ready for Peter (34-4, 27 KOs).
30, is coming off a one-sided, 10th-round knockout loss to champion Wladimir Klitschko in September, but is still considered formidable.
"Sam Peter is one of the biggest and best names out there and I look forward to proving myself against him," the 27-year-old Helenius said. "He has a tremendous punch and will be very tough to beat. But I will not allow him to stop me on my way to the top. It will be a great fight."
Although Peter is supposed to be the "opponent," his manager, Ivaylo Gotzev, views the fight as an opportunity for Peter to regain the momentum he lost against Klitschko.
"This fight is not strictly for a financial reason," Gotzev said. "This is because Samuel Peter will knock out Helenius and that's how we're going to get back to the top. They are excited about this fight, but so are we. Somebody is certainly going to have a sweaty nightmare on the night of April 2."
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.