By Chris Cella
Next Saturday, November 10, following an 11-month layoff due to injury, Finnish undefeated heavyweight prospect Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (17-0, 11 KO) will put his unblemished record on the line as he touches leather against heavyweight veteran Sherman “The Tank” Williams (35-11-2, 19 KO).
Prior to sustaining a shoulder injury, Helenius remained active within the ring, going to battle an average of three times a year, and has stopped his opponent in four of his last five fights. Rather than crawling his way back into the heavyweight mix by taking on a tomato can or two to get his ring presence back following the layoff, Helenius will face one of the toughest tests in his career in the Tank—who has gone to battle with heavyweight contender Ruslan Chagaev, former heavyweight champion of the world Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield and several other top names.
About coming into Helenius’ backyard and fighting in front of the favored fighter’s hometown fans, Williams commented, “I look forward to coming to Finland. I will bring sunshine to Helsinki. I have a special punch, the Conch Punch, an overhead right, and the Tank will catch Robert with that shot. That is my special weapon which will help me to win this fight.”
At 40-years-old, the Tank has only fought twice in the past three years, and despite his own layoff, Helenius will look to jump on his elder early on and force him into a street fight.
The key for Helenius will be to avoid being too anxious and looking for the early knockout, as the Tank has only been stopped once in 11 losses, and has the experience and knowledge to last late into the fight.
“Well, he can try, but I don’t think he has a chance,” Helenius said of The Tank’s prediction of upsetting him by way of knockout in front of his hometown fans.
“I am not a big trash-talker. All I know is that I will be ready for the Tank. My shoulder has healed very well, my other arm has gotten much stronger now, so I will do damage with both hands. It’s great to make my comeback fight in Finland.”
Though the Tank has nearly triple the fights under his belt than his opponent, at 5’11” tall–considerably small nowadays for a heavyweight–he hasn’t battled an opponent with similar height to Helenius (6’6 ½”) since he waged war against Tye Fields (6’8”) in 2003 and came up short for the USBA heavyweight title.
Helenius knows that in order to continue his rise in the heavyweight division he needs to put on an impressive performance and come out with the ‘W’.
“This will be an exciting fight,” said Helenius. “Williams has proven his class in a lot of battles, he is strong and rugged, but he will not leave Finland victorious. I am taller, I am stronger and I am better. The Tank will crash in Helsinki on November 10!”