By Per Ake Persson
The Nordic Nightmare, heavyweight contender Robert Helenius, 26-2, won an eight round split decision last night in Tallin, Estonia, against Belarus fighter Yury Bykhautsou, 10-15-3.
It was scored 77-76 twice for Helenius and 78-75 for Bykhatsou.
It was the first fight for Helenius, after losing a one-sided twelve round decision to British contender Dillian Whyte last October at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, as part of the Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam undercard. If Helenius would have won that fight, he would have been in line to face current WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder, as Whyte was the number one challenger.
In his most recent fight, Helenius once again injured his right hand and this happened very early in the contest, right in the first round and that made things much harder as he worked almost exclusively with the left throughout the fight.
However, Bykhautsou, much smaller than his opponent, was able to work his way through the left and get Helenius to the ropes where he whaled away with big hooks from both hands with some landing and that made the fight even and many rounds difficult to score.
Even when taking into account the injured right hand, it was not an impressive performance from Helenius, who appeared to lack the necessary fighting spirit - and even with the right hand out of the picture he wasn't really using the left that much to hook with.
The plan for Robert was to have another fight in the spring, but it will probably be a long rest instead to allow the injury to heal.
Prior to the bout with Whyte, Helenius had built up a three fight win streak and all three of those by knockout, over the usual suspects like Konstantin Airich and Gonzalo Omar Basile. This victories helped him bounce back from a knockout loss to Johann Duhaupas in April fo 2016.