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Deontay Wilder close to finalizing comeback fight for pay-per-view main event

Wilder hasn’t fought since his KO loss to Tyson Fury.

Deontay Wilder boxing Tyson Fury in 2021.
Deontay Wilder boxing Tyson Fury in 2021.
Photo by Tom Hogan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

‘The Bronze Bomber’ is ready to return to action.

Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) is nearing a deal to take on Finland’s Robert Helenius in the main event of a PBC on FOX pay-per-view. BoxingScene’s Keith Idec reports that the fight would likely take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on October 15th, one week before Wilder’s 37th birthday.

Wilder has not fought since his trilogy with rival Tyson Fury last October, which ended in a brutal KO loss for Deontay after he was dropped three times in the contest and hurt repeatedly throughout the fight. Through all of that punishment, he still managed to drop Fury twice and showcase tremendous heart and determination, but in the end he paid the price and dropped a second in a row to Tyson. The vaunted knockout threat has violently stopped the likes of Luis Ortiz (twice), Dominic Breazeale, Artur Szpilka, and former WBO champion Siarhei Liakhovich over the course of his career.

Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) has won three straight fights since his KO loss to Gerald Washington. ‘The Nordic Nightmare’ scored a major upset in 2020 when he stopped Adam Kownacki, and sure enough he dominated him in last year’s rematch on the Fury-Wilder 3 undercard. His other really notable wins all came in 2011 against Sam Peter, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Dereck Chisora.

There’s no doubt that Helenius is a credible opponent who’s in the middle of a career resurgence. At the same time, he’ll also be an expected heavy underdog against Wilder even with Deontay coming off two straight losses. It’s a fine comeback fight for Wilder, and while the pay-per-view designation may be irksome, consider that a necessity for Wilder fights moving forward based on his guaranteed minimum purses. Putting this fight on FOX or Showtime would be nice but it’s also not financially practical.