Chisora gives Helenius a beat down but Robert walks away with EBU belt and decision

3 Dec

Alan Dawson – London

Dereck Chisora and Robert Helenius participated in a classic heavyweight tear-up on Saturday, December 3 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland that rubbishes the myth that the division is dead. Chisora’s pressure and pace had Helenius in fits and gave the Nord nightmares. Helenius was given his most arduous examination to date but when the judges scorecards were announced, it was he who was awarded with a split decision, albeit an undeserved one…

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Dawson’s scorecard

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Chisora
10 9 10 10 10 10 9 10 10 10
9 10
Helenius 9 10 10 9 9 9 10 9 9 9 10 10

OTB verdict: 117-113 to Chisora.

Judges verdict: 115-113, 115-113, 113-115, split decision to Helenius.

It didn’t have the glamour of a world heavyweight championship associated with it, but the bout between Helenius and Chisora was the headlining match-up in Helsinki, had the European title on the line and, with beautiful buxom blonde Finnish women parading Britain’s Union Flag and Finland’s Blue Cross Flag to the ring, there was a very real big fight vibe at the 13,500 capacity indoor arena where you could watch the fight from a sauna if you had one of the glorious – and probably expensive – corporate boxes.

A chorus of fierce boos rained down on Chisora when his name was announced and he commenced his ring-walk. The cocky Cockney ruffled a fair few feathers during fight week with his attempt to psych-out Helenius at the weigh-in and his reception was a stark contrast to the heroic welcome that Robert received. When the Finn was in the ring, Chisora had to be motioned to his corner by the referee as the headline-hogging hardman was getting in Helenius’ face and making a lot of noise.

Chisora started boxing on the front-foot, he wanted to get in close, but he walked into two or three Helenius jabs. The Englishman was clearly attempting to punch the hometown fighter out of his rhythm early on and even paid attention to the body of the big man. As the much shorter fighter, it can occasionally appear like an arduous task in punching high and landing on the braincase, but big men often contain a big target area when working the midsection and this was not lost on Del Boy.

When the bell rang to call an end to round one, Chisora winked at Helenius and walked away with the upper hand.

The difference in styles was evidently going to be a factor in this match-up. The stocky Chisora worked best when closing the gap and maintaining an inside fight where the longer arms of Helenius would be rendered redundant. Helenius, meanwhile, is obviously more comfortable boxing from long-range. Helenius pawed away with the jab in the second round and began to find a rhythm with his lead punch not because he forced the issue, but because Chisora eased off the inside pressure. The Finn’s uppercut proved a shrewd shot whenever Chisora attempted to close the gap yet the visiting fighter’s chin accepted the punch.

The aggressive Chisora was the one taking the fight to his opponent, he was the ring general, yet when it came to effective punching it was tough to split his close-range hooking from Helenius’ accurate and punch-wise performance from the outside. In the fourth round, Chisora found Helenius’ chin with an extraordinary hookercut. Chisora’s bodywork had two motives: to lower Helenius’ guard, and to diminish his opponent’s energy-levels. Each landed jab would have taken a little mileage off and, in the dying moments of the round, Helenius was troubled with a money-making right fist.

Midway through the fifth, Helenius forced Chisora into a neutral corner but the Englishman boxed his way out of the danger zone. Chisora’s pressure was so rabid that Helenius was bullied and taken into territory he had not been accustomed to. The referee, though, was beginning to have an influence in the fight due to repeated warnings to Del Boy for a coming together of heads that was not solely his own doing.

In the sixth, Chisora tortured Helenius with left uppercuts but, more dangerously, the right hand over the top which twice connected and rocked Helenius back. When working at mid-range, Helenius connected with tentative punches which, in the grand scheme of war, seemed ineffectual.

Chisora eased off the gas in the seventh. He was sprightly on his feet and just popped single fire shots and the occasional one-two as he refused to engage in the grueling toe-to-toe war that had erupted in previous rounds. Whilst it acted as a breather for himself, it also showed that Helenius could be out-boxed from distance as he struggled to land in comparison with Chisora who nipped in and out whilst enjoying a good success rate. Chisora, though, relinquished the ten score to Helenius’ favour in the latter stages of the stanza.

A fatiguing Helenius was confounded by Chisora’s inside game and, in the eighth, sneaked left uppercuts toward the bigger man’s chin. The heavyweight tough man contest was turning into a proper slobberknocker and it was largely Chisora who was providing the clobbering.

In the ninth round, Chisora was showboating, standing in the corner, sticking his tongue out and waving Helenius onto him. As the championship rounds approached, his energy and mindset would have been better served taking the fight to his opponent as he had done in the opening round. What had remained from the first round, was his jabbing and hook punching to the body, as well as his frenetic paced attack. The tempo tactic had worked as even though Helenius still had a good work-rate, the venom in his punches was impotent.

In the ninth and tenth rounds, the interfering referee again gave Chisora another figure to fight and it was a wonder how his obvious dislike for Chisora’s work had not seen a point deduction. Helenius was predominantly boxing on the backfoot in the tenth.

A battle of whomever was more gassed than the other took place in the 11th; a byproduct of the scintillating action that had preceded it. Helenius threw more in the penultimate stanza. The final round contained electric action as both men were wobbled simultaneously. Chisora was hellbent in obtaining a Hollywood-finish and troubled his man with an uppercut but Helenius’ response made Dereck think twice, but just for a single moment, as the natural born fighter refused to back down and continued to throw fists.

Chisora’s pace and pressure dictated the fight and it was he who was the clear winner, however, only one judge saw a similar contest to On The Beak, who was over-ruled by two other judges who scored it for Helenius. As a result, the hometown fighter protected his undefeated status, picked up the vacant EBU title, but his reputation has been harmed. Helenius was previously deemed infallible but Chisora has exposed flaws in the Scandinavian’s set-up. Regardless, he moves to 17-0-0, 11ko while Dereck suffers his second loss and goes to 15-2-0, 9ko.

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6 Responses to “Chisora gives Helenius a beat down but Robert walks away with EBU belt and decision”

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