Deontay Wilder’s explosiveness makes him a unique threat in the heavyweight division

A year and a day ago Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder put on one of the great heavyweight title fights recent memory Wilder has not fought since that memorable night in Las Vegas, when Fury won by stoppage in the 11th round of the classic fight which had varied more in motion than the grandfather clock.

But in those 366 days, we learned that Wilder was absolutely the worst, the third and best heavyweight in the world, and perhaps the second best. He returns to action on Saturday (9 p.m. ET, Fox Sports PBC Pay-Per-View) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, when Robert Helenius fights in the main event.

Helenius, 31-3 with 20 knockouts and standing 6 feet 7 inches with a 79-inch reach, has the size to cause problems for Wilder.

Prior to Wilder’s three-fight streak with Fury, in which he was drawn in the first and Fury won the last two by stoppage, the general school of thought was that the big guy, who had the box, would bring the challenge to Wilder.

Now, though, the consensus is that Wilder’s power is so overwhelming — he’s dropped Fury four times in three fights — that he’s going to take on an all-time great boxer or someone with a monstrous combination of bulk and punching talent. with him

Helenius is most definitely not an all-time great boxer, nor does he have a monstrous combination of size and boxing ability. Unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk may He’s always been a great boxer, and we know for sure that Fury has that uncanny combination of size and boxing ability that makes him a problem for anyone.

But beyond Fury and maybe Usyk — Usyk hasn’t been given the power to avoid Wilder’s lethal punches for 12 rounds, no matter how good a boxer he is — there’s no one in the sport who can deal with the power and pressure that Wilder brings.

Wilder and Helen spat together, although Wilder does not see the maker.

“Spending someone and fighting when they make a decision are two different things,” Wilder said. “He’s used more sparingly. If Robert feels he can match my display, then I have to take his word for it. He’ll bring excitement to the fight.

I have never been subjected to Helen when he counts, who knows what he is going to bring. Who does not know that the fighters will train more than ever before when they face me. Hopefully, it can bring us into turmoil [Saturday].

Wilder sits in a pretty good position as far as getting another crack at the title. He speaks openly of his second kingdom, and it is unlikely that it will be with anyone in the world other than Fury.

Usyk is a clean boxer, as shown by winning the cruiserweight title and match victories over Anthony Joshua. Joshua is a huge man and a powerful puncher, but he’s not nearly the puncher or finisher of Wilder.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 22: Deontay Wilder's mid-day workout before his fight against Robert Helen on October 15 at the UFC Apex Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 22, 2022. Credit: DeeCee Carter/MediaPunch /IPX

Deontay Wilder makes his debut Saturday in London against Robert Helenius. (Photo by DeeCee Carter/MediaPunch/IPX)

Joshua Usyk was moving in the second fight, but he did not have the next gear to follow and finish it. Wilder most certainly does.

He has spent a lot of time preparing for the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, and he feels he has joined the game after his second loss to Fury last year. It’s kind of scary that he could do so much.

“I can only talk about what I did in training and sparing,” Wilder said. “I have to say I’m surprised to see. I haven’t lost track. If I’ve improved something, I’ve gone back to the basics and added new aspects to my craft. It’s really about using some things that I don’t work on as much.”

Helenius says all the right things and understands what Wilder is going against. But as NBA legend Allen Iverson so eloquently said so many years ago, “We’re talking about practice.”

There is no guarantee that Helenius would survive with Wilder to spare himself the same fight.

“It’s hard to say if Deontay felt the potential in sparring because of the bigger hat and ball,” Helenius conceded. “I think it’s more about his speed. Some people have a lot of punch, but I think his explosiveness is the best.”

This explosiveness has helped him to a 42-2-1 record with 41 knockouts, and a 41-0 record with 40 knockouts against all but Fury.

And if Wilder takes yet another reign as a heavier champion, it will be cause for a bigger explosion.

Deontay Wilder left England's Tyson Fury in a heavyweight boxing match on Oct. 9.  (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)

Deontay Wilder, left, beats WBC champion Tyson Fury, England, in a heavyweight boxing title match on October 9, 2021, in Las Vegas. Wilder returns to action Saturday in Brooklyn, New York, against Robert Helenius. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)

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