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It’s a fight that never happened.
But today Finnish heavyweight boxer Robert Helenius announced that it will.
Robert Helenius, also known as the Nordic Nightmare, will face his German counterpart, Erkan Teper, for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental Heavyweight Title in Stuttgart, southern Germany on September 29.
Boxrec, a website dedicated to holding updated of professional boxers, is behind Finland Today’s breaking news. The site lists German Edmund Gerber as Teper’s next challenger for the title. I asked Helenius’ manager, Markus Sundman, about the reason for replacing Gerber with Helenius and Sundman said that the people behind the fight simply “saw Helenius as a better alternative.”
In 2015, Helenius was supposed to face Teper at the Helsinki Arena for the European heavyweight title, but only two weeks before the title fight, Teper pulled out. Teper’s management said that Teper was unable to take the fight because of a hand injury. Then he was stripped of his title after failing a drug test.
Franz Rill, a Canadian heavyweight, stepped up and took a shot at the European title that was now open.
After 20 seconds in the first round of the fight, Helenius blasted Rill to the floor. In the fourth, Helenius sent Rill rolling on the canvas after connecting with a beautiful right hook on the chin. And after 12 rounds Helenius was declared the winner by a unanimous decision; he was now the European Heavyweight Champion!
View the video of the training session with Erkan Teper and Robert Helenius in 2015:
More ups than downs
In the following three years Helenius has had beautiful victories and unfortunate injuries, but now the 34-year-old boxer is on the roll again after two victorious fights against the same sturdy opponent, Yury Bykhatsou—in the second fight knocking off any doubters.
We have covered them all, click to view.
Erkan Teper is a dangerous opponent, both yours truly and Manager Sundman think so.
“It’s a real 50-50 fight,” Sundman said. “Teper holds the 7th place in IBF ranking. A win over Teper will place us high.”
The current IBF heavyweight champion is the UK boxer, Anthony Joshua.
A win over Teper would, once again, take Helenius much closer to fighting for the world champion title.