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Deontay Wilder returns with brutal knockout of Robert Helenius

Deontay Wilder barely had to break a sweat to get back on track with a brutal first-round knockout of Finn Robert Helenius at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

A backhanded right hand was all it took for ‘The Bronze Bomber’ to earn the win that comes after his two straight losses to England’s Tyson Fury, the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight champion.

Fury was able to deal with Wilder’s power, and so far he has been the only one to do so, rising from four total knockdowns in his three fights. But Helenius was not in that class.

He used his roughly 40-pound advantage to push Wilder back for much of the round, and had him back in the corner when Wilder unleashed the right hand that ended the Finn’s hopes of getting closer to a title shot.

Instead, Wilder could quickly get another starting opportunity after proving again why his power makes him one of the must-see attractions in the sport.

He held a piece of the heavyweight title for five years and could look for a shot against Oleksandr Usyk, who owns all three belts plus the one Fury took from Wilder. Other names to be mentioned include former champions Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.

In the co-main event of the evening, Englishman Caleb Plant (22-1-0, 13 KO’s) knocked out Anthony Dirrell (34-3-2, 25 KO’s) in the ninth round. This was Plant’s first fight since he lost by technical knockout to Mexican Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez in November 2021.

In another heavyweight bout, Cuban Frank Sánchez (21-0-0, 14 KO’s) won Puerto Rican Carlos Negrón (25-4-0, 20 KO’s) via chloroform in round 9.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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