By Mark Eisner: Deontay Wilder returns tonight against Robert Helenius in a 12round fight on FOX Sports PPV at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Boxing News 24 will be giving live updates & results below of the action on the Wilder-Helenius card.
The former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) is coming off a bad knockout loss, and there are question marks how the defeat affected him. We’ll find out tonight.
In the co-feature, Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) is returning after being knocked out in his last fight and will be going up against the always dangerous Anthony Dirrell (34-2-1, 25 KOs) in a confidence booster bout.
Plant wants a rematch with Canelo Alvarez, but it’s unclear whether he’s willing to take the risky fights to get him a second shot.
‘Sweethands” had talked of wanting to fight Jermall Charlo & David Benavidez to earn a rematch with Canelo, but he’s quieted down about going in that direction.
Plant will likely go the backdoor route to try and get a rematch with Canelo by focusing on less risky fighters and staying away from Benavidez and Charlo.
“I’ve been a champion for a very long time. I’ve been at the top for a very long time. It’s one of those things. You know what to do to stay there and be there,” said Deontay Wilder to the media about his comeback.
“Certain things change, and certain things don’t. By me being able to be familiar with being at the top, we know how to put on a great show and stay there and compete with the best that’s up there, if anything else.
“My fire is still lit, I can say that. I’ve been so successful in this business, especially financially, that I don’t need this no more. It’s a great feeling to be on the other side.
“98% of the fighters don’t have nothing to show for after the game is over. The only thing they have to show is mental illness, Parkinson, speech impediments, and a lot of other health problems that go on while managers & promoters go on millionaires, sometimes turning into billionaires and able to support their children and children’s children.
“The fighters, the only thing we get is a pat on the back, ‘Oh, he was the greatest in his time.’ What was that? I’m just blessed to be in the position that I’m in. I’ve accomplished so much in my career, and on top of that, I have a statue.
“There are a lot of accomplishments that have been done. All my accomplishments inside the ring have been set in stone by a statue. It’s just going to be another opponent,” said Wilder when told that this will be his first opponent in three years that isn’t Tyson Fury.
“Another time, another place, another day. Like I said, I’ve been up at the top for a very long time, over 40-something fights. It’s just another opponent. Robert is just another opponent.
“Some fighters, you have a relationship, and some fighters, you don’t. With him, it’s a long–time sparring partner. We have a relationship. Once we get inside the ring, that’s where it’s going to count. This is the only time when we’re in the ring where it really counts.
“Other than that, it has just been sparring where iron is sharpening iron, but we got a lot on the line. I highly respect Robert. He has a warrior’s heart.
“I’m looking forward to him testing his heart against my heart. That’s what’s going to make a great fight, and may the best man win.
“You guys will have to stay tuned. A lot of people wonder what I’m going to be wearing [for the ring walk] and different things like that. That’s what pay-per-view is all about. So you got to buy the pay-per-view to see what’s going on.
“What don’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s the saying. I abide by that saying as well. I’ve been soaking in my happiness and my peace. So when you’re happy and at peace, all those things that you might go through, if you’re happy and at peace, you know how to overcome those. You know how to endure all of it.
“Look, ain’t nothing been easy for me. When you’re happy, and at peace, nothing phases you. You just move with the punches and go on about life and find certain ways to live life and enjoy it the best that you can with your loved ones.
“I think Andy Ruiz did exactly enough to win [against Luis Ortiz]. It was a great fight. I would love to entertain that fight. When that does happen, I’ll tell Andy some secrets that even he didn’t know. So, I blessed him even before he knew he was blessed,” said Wilder.