Deontay Wilder knocks out opponent in first round (Videos)

Deontay Wilder knocks out opponent in first round

Former world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has returned to boxing after a year-long lay-off, by knocking out his Finnish opponent, Robert Helenius in the first round.

Saturday’s match marked Wilder’s return since being KO’d by Tyson Fury 12 months ago.

The American stopped Helenius after 2min 57sec with a powerful right-hand punch to the face, improving his record to 43-2 with one drawn and 42 KOs.

Wilder reportedly knew the fight was over even before it was stopped by posing against the ropes after throwing the punch.

Deontay Wilder knocks out opponent in first round

Doctors rushed to the 38-year-old prone Finnish fighter, who slowly rose to his knees. Helenius, a former Wilder sparring partner whose record fell to 31-4, eventually departed the ring under his power.

Commenting on his win, he said;

“It’s just amazing to be back in Brooklyn. It’s like a second home to me. This is arena is like a second home to me.

“It just feels so good to be back. When I came off the plane and set foot off the ground I just felt a great energy, I felt the love and support and that’s all I needed.

“So when I stepped foot in the arena I felt the same thing and I knew it was going to be a great night and it was for me.”

Deontay Wilder knocks out opponent in first round

Wilder who also got emotional during the post-match conference, discussed the dangers of boxing and also cited Prichard Colon, as an example. Colon is an American boxer, honourary WBC World Champion, and gold medal winner who suffers a life-altering brain injury due to the profession. 

36-year-old Wilder was left considering his career following consecutive stoppage losses to Fury, 34, in their trilogy series.

He is now lined up for a final eliminator against Andy Ruiz Jr, 33, with the winner becoming mandatory for Fury’s title.

But Wilder didn’t rule out trying to fight Ukraine’s unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk, who owns all the heavyweight division’s other major titles.

Deontay Wilder knocks out opponent in first round

On who he wants to fight next, the American said;

 “Who’s next? I’ve been hearing rumours about Usyk and he isn’t even in the building, or is he?

“I’m down for whatever, whether it’s Andy Ruiz, or Usyk or whoever. Lets bring it on.

“Deontay Wilder is back. The excitement in the heavyweight division is back. There’s no heavyweight division without Deontay Wilder.”

Watch videos from the match below…