Dillian Whyte back-up fighter Robert Helenius sees Tyson Fury as ‘easier’ than Oleksandr Usyk

Helenius could step in for Whyte if a deal cannot be agreed between the Briton and compatriot Fury

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 14 January 2022 12:50
Dillian Whyte greets Dereck Chisora after fight

Robert Helenius has said Tyson Fury would be an “easier” opponent than Oleksandr Usyk as he prepares for a potential clash with the Briton.

Finnish heavyweight Helenius is among the fighters to have been named by Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum as a potential alternative to Dillian Whyte, whom the “Gypsy King” has been ordered to face next.

Whyte is the mandatory challenger to WBC heavyweight champion Fury, while the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles are set to be on the line in a rematch between Usyk and Anthony Joshua in spring.

Undefeated Ukrainian Usyk outpointed Joshua with relative ease in September to take those belts, and the winner of their expected rematch this April could face Fury in a unification bout if the WBC champion overcomes Whyte – or Helenius, for that matter.

Negotiations for Fury vs Whyte look set to go to a purse bid, and if a deal cannot be struck between the Britons, Helenius (31-3, 20 knockouts) could step in.

“I have heard my name mentioned by Bob Arum and others of possibly fighting Fury in March,” Helenius told Sky Sports.

“Of course, I feel I would beat Fury. He looked great against Deontay Wilder, but he would find a much less favourable style against me.

Robert Helenius is 31-3 with 20 knockout wins to his name

“I would knock Fury out. He is an easier style for me than Usyk for sure.”

Helenius, 38, is ranked third by the WBA and wants to be instated as mandatory challenger to Usyk.

“Right now we are waiting for a formal response from the WBA, this is my first priority,” Helenius said.

“My lawyer has notified the WBA in writing, I’ve paid sanctioning fees, and there is no more deserving contender to fight Usyk in the WBA than me.

“I fully expect to be officially named mandatory. I’ve earned it and I will fight outside the ring as hard as I fight inside the ring for my opportunity.”

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