Deontay Wilder, a former world heavyweight champion, made his boxing comeback after a year-long hiatus by knocking out Robert Helenius of Finland in the opening frame.
Wilder competed on Saturday for the first time since Tyson Fury knocked him out last year.
The American’s victory improved his record to 43-2 with one draw and 42 knockouts after stopping Helenius at 2 minutes and 57 seconds.
Wilder reportedly posed against the ropes after throwing the punch, signaling that he already knew the bout was over before it was stopped.
The 38-year-old Finnish fighter was brought to the hospital. He eventually climbed to his knees. He eventually forced Helenius, a former sparring partner of Wilder’s whose record had dropped to 31-4, to leave the ring.
In response to his victory, he said:
“Just being back in Brooklyn is incredible. For me, it serves as a second home. To me, this arena feels like a second home.
“Being back just feels so fantastic. I only needed to feel the love and support I was receiving when I stepped off the plane and onto the ground.
Therefore, I experienced the same feeling when I entered the arena and knew it would be a fantastic night for me.
During the post-fight press conference, Wilder, who was also overcome with emotion, talked about the risks associated with boxing and used Prichard Colon as an example. American boxer Colon, a gold medalist and honorary WBC World Champion, sustains a permanent brain injury as a result of his line of work.
After suffering two consecutive stoppage losses to Fury, 34, in their trilogy series, Wilder, 36, was forced to contemplate his career.
He will now face 33-year-old Andy Ruiz Jr. in the last eliminator, with the victor becoming required for Fury to retain his title.
But Oleksandr Usyk, the undefeated Ukrainian fighter who holds all the other major titles in the heavyweight division, wasn’t ruled out by Wilder as a potential opponent.
Regarding his next opponent, the American remarked;
Who’s following? Usyk isn’t even inside the building, or is he, despite the rumors I’ve been hearing about him?
You know most of the time when guys say they want me and attend one of my shows and witness a brutal knockout that they turn around on me, and I’ve had many.
I’m open to anything, whether it’s Andy Ruiz, Usyk, or anyone else. Let’s get started.
Deontay Wilder has returned. The heavyweight class is once again exciting. Without Deontay Wilder, the heavyweight division would not exist.
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