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I could feel their breath on my face when the two heavyweight boxing giants faced each other in Casino Helsinki for the official staredown on Friday afternoon.
With their gaze of steel, Robert Helenius and his French opponent, Johann Duhaupas, tried to mentally submit each other; the staredown must have lasted about 30 seconds.
Their eyes lacked fear. No signs of weakness.
After the stare Duhaupas grabbed the WBC silver heavyweight title belt, the prize they will fight for on April 2 at Helsinki Arena. Duhaupas waved the belt high in the air.
Helenius observed and stroke his beard, seemingly frustrated by such arrogance.
“He can keep it now,” Helenius said. “I’ll take it back in the ring.”
View the intense staredown and what the pugilists had to say in our video interview.