By Alexey Sukachev
Gerry Weber Stadium, Halle, Germany - He has arrived! The "Nordic Nightmare" from Finland, named Robert Helenius (15-0, 10 KOs), slept for almost nine rounds himself before putting former WBC heavyweight champion and the "Nigerian Nightmare" Samuel Peter (34-5, 27 KOs) to sleep with a pair of devastating left hooks to the head.
IBF #6 and WBO #11 Peter, 30, pressed the action during the first half of the fight. He was going after higly ranked IBF/BO #7 and WBA #11 Helenius firing hard jab to the body trying to engage the Finnish fighter into a brawl. Helenius, 27, did little and looked mostly unimpressive with his lazy jab and a total lack of power punches. Peter looked better landing several big shots in rounds two and four when fighting in close quarters. Helenius wisely avoided heated exchanges and tied his opponent up on the inside.
In round seven, Helenius gave fans a reminder of his true power by landing several counter straight right hands to stop the Nigerian in his tracks. Then he came back to his usual sleepy and lazy self and continued to rest up until the ninth round. Suddenly in the ninth, Helenius fired a right uppercut and missed it. At the same time he opened a room for a short but powerful left hook which sent Peter down. The former champion looked finished but pulled himself up. He was finished moments later with a left hook to the jaw which put him to sleep for a good minute or two. Time was 1:50 of the ninth round. Helenius is now the WBA and the WBO intercontinental heavyweight beltholder and a legitimate contender in the sport's glamour division.
Rising German light heavyweight Dustin Dirks (19-0, 13 KOs) survived some shaky seconds in his TKO win over Italian career journeyman and former kickboxing notable Roberto Cocco (10-8-1, 5 KOs). The guest fighter took an opening stanza, and Dirks was down briefly in the second after several uppercuts by Cocco. He then reinforced himself and started beating Cocco to the punch. In round six, he rocked badly his opponent badly with an uppercut of his own, and the fight was stopped soon thereafter with Cocco's nose badly bleeding and possibly broken.
Germany-based Kazakh native Artur Hein and Frenchman Tony Averlant engaged in a heated, but mostly unspectacular twelve-rounder for a vacant EBU-EU light heavyweight title. Both pugilists battled in close and in middle quarters; both gave their all, and both were unable to rock each other solidly in a close, see-saw affair. Averlant, 27, took the middle stanzas while local prospect Hein looked stronger in the final round.
Judge Manuel Maritxalar (Spain) scored it 116-112 - for Hein, judge Leszek Jankowiak (Poland) favoured Averlant - 113-115, and judge Mikael Hook (Sweden) awarded both fighters with a draw: 114-114. Thus a vacant title remained vacant as the official result of the contest is a draw. Referee was Howard Foster of England. BoxingScene saw it 114-115 - slightly for Averlant, who was very disappointed with an outcome
Still undefeated middleweight prospect Dominik Britsch (22-0, 7 KOs) survived a number of hard, rocky moments in his fight with determined Hungarian Jozsef Matolsci (29-14, 20 KOs) but overcame them to get an unsatisfactory unanimous decision, which was wider than the fight had actually been.
Britsch, 23, started the contest rapidly, sending Matolsci down in the first round with "left-left-right" combination. The next couple of stanzas was also in prospect's favor while the fourth saw a minor comeback by former WBF champion from Hungary, 35. However, in the fifth Britsch waited for his aggressive opponent to tire a bit and then landed a picture-perfect combination with a powerful left hook to the whiskers which sent Matolsci down. It looked like the fight was in Britsch's hands but in the sixth Jozsef suddenly landed a left hook of his own at the very end of the stanza to deck the German fighter. Britsch's tank was suddenly empty, and Matolsci felt it putting on an aggressive following but was unable to get the job done in later rounds.
After eight unexpectedly close rounds of two-way action, all three judges not surprisingly scored the contest wide for Britsch: 78-74, 77-74 and 78-71. BoxingScene saw the fight much closer with a razor-thin decision (75-74) for the German fighter, who disappointed his fans in this bout. It is worth noting that Matolsci upset former two-time world title challenger Mahir Oral in his last outing.
In a relatively huge upset, unheralded Lithuanian super middleweight Sergej Rozvadovskij (5-0-2, 4 KOs) knocked out former world title challenger and European light heavyweight titleholder Thomas Ulrich (32-6, 22 KOs) in the seventh round.
Ulrich started the fight well but soon found himself in big trouble with hard-punching and rather skillful Baltic opponent. Rozavdovskij was light on his feet and circled around Ulrich using shifty and somewhat sneaky head movements to avoid any considerable damage. In round two he landed a huge left uppercut that sent Ulrich down. Rounds three and four were also in Rozvadovskij's favor but at the end of the fifth stanza the experienced German landed a big straight right hand that had Lithuanian in huge trouble. Sergej survived the onsalught and also survived Ulrich's pressure at the start of the sixth to get an edge at the end of the round.
Into the seventh, Rozvadovskij connected with another devastating left uppercut to Ulrich's head, and sent him down and then finished him off with right bombs in succession just after that. Time was 1:49 of the seventh when referee Ingo Barrabas waved the contest off and crowned the Lithuanian with his biggest achievement.
Cruiserweight David Graf (1-0, 1 KO) made his sensational pro debut with a first-round "blowout" of unknown Latvian opponent Olegs Lopajevs (0-2). This was barely a fight at all. Immediately after touching gloves with his foe, Graf fired a left jab and sent Lopajevs to the canvas. Referee started a count of ten and finished it ten seconds later with the Latvian fighter still sitting at the ropes. Official time of stoppage was 0:16 of the very first stanza. A disappointing start for a big Sauerland fight card at Gerry Weber stadium in Halle, Germany.