Deontay Wilder will have to get reacquainted with Robert Helenius as a frenemy when the two heavyweights meet for a fight Oct. 15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York to headline a FOX pay-per-view. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Helenius has been a longtime Wilder sparring partner

“The Nordic Nightmare” helped the “Bronzed Bomber” prepare for his most recent fight and loss to Tyson Fury. 

As the soon-to-be 37-year-old Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) looks to rebuild his career, Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) has enjoyed a revival, knocking out Adam Kownacki in back-to-back fights. 

“Robert's been to my house. I'm pretty cool with Robert and his team. This will not be a fight about enemies or animosity. This will be two gentlemen fighting for victory and that No. 1 spot – for family, and so much more,” Wilder told Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal on the PBC Podcast.

“This will be about who is the smartest, fastest, and hits the hardest. Helenius is a great fighter. He's very long. He can be patient at times. He's got a heart of gold. He's not going to give up. He has a military background. He knows how to fight and keep it going. He's not going to give up. This is not going to be easy. This is going to be an interesting fight for me and Robert. We know each other in the ring and we both know what we are capable of doing. I'm going to have to come out with something different. Something he's never seen before and bring it to him that way. He's probably thinking the same thing. I'm looking forward to a great challenge. A lot of people are going to get their money's worth and a great show in my comeback fight. He's been doing great on his winning streak. He's got to feel very good and confident in himself.”

At the age of 38, Helenius is enjoying a renaissance after an uneven three-year run that featured losses to Gerald Washington in 2019, Dillian Whyte in 2017, and Johann Duhaupas in 2016.

But Helenius demolished the once-promising contender and then-undefeated Kownacki in 2020 and 2021, needing just a total of 10 rounds in both one-sided fights. 

Between 2010 and 2011, Helenius beat the credible likes of Lamon Brewster, Samuel Peter, Siarhei Liakhovich, and Derek Chisora.

Helenius’ last fight was on the undercard of the Wilder-Fury trilogy last October. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on