HELSINKI, Finland — “The Nordic Nightmare” Robert Helenius’s title hopes have evaporated following a shocking sixth round KO loss to Johann Duhaupas at the Hartwall Arena.
Much like his gritty effort in a loss last September to WBC titlist Deontay Wilder, Duhaupas relied on his chin and high guard to walk through Helenius’ power and deliver clubbing shots. The strategy proved worthwhile when a right hand put Helenius down in the fourth and opened a bloody and likely broken nose. Still, Helenius remained dangerous and had his own success inside with jolting uppercuts.
The end came at mid-range with Duhaupas firing a right hand around Helenius’ weak parry attempt. The shot landed perfectly on Helenius’ jaw and left him sprawled on the canvas. He rose on instinct and stumbled clumsily across the ring before draping himself on the ropes. The referee prudently called off the contest as Helenius slowly sank to the canvas.
Duhaupas, who is currently ranked #13 by the WBC, will likely obtain a Top 10 ranking next month. The victory is his second consecutive win since the Wilder fight.
Helenius, who sought to remain active to make up for two years of inactivity from 2013-2015, faces an uphill battle to return to relevance in the heavyweight division.