Boxing: Robert Helenius is taller and heavier than his Nigerian opponent in tonight’s pro bout in Helsinki
Eva Wahlström makes professional debut on same bill
Today, Friday, the Finnish heavyweight Robert Helenius will enter the ring in a professional boxing night in Helsinki weighing slightly more than his Nigerian opponent Gbenga Oloukun.
At Thursday’s weigh-in Helenius tested the scale to 110.5 kg, against Oloukun’s 105 kg.
“I don’t think the weigh-in gave either one of us the mental advantage. At least Oloukun wasn't able to touch my self-confidence. I do not expect an easy fight, but I strongly believe that I will come out on top”, Helenius said last night.
Helenius in unbeaten in his 11 bouts so far as a professional boxer.
Also in height he has got the advantage over his Nigerian opponent. Helenius is approximately 2 metres tall and is 14.5 centimetres taller than Oloukun.
But Oloukun, too, has his sights set on victory from the 8-round contest.
His balance sheet as a pro fighter reads 17 wins from 20 bouts.
“I have come here to win. Friday will see many Finnish spectators leaving the arena disappointed. But they will certainly witness a good fight”, Oloukun reckoned.
Oloukun will definitely not be a pushover: both boxers have recently taken out the former WBO World Champion Lamon Brewster.
But the evening at Helsinki’s Kisahalli in Töölö is not going to be just about testosterone and bulging muscles.
In addition to Helenius, especially
Eva Wahlström’s first bout as a professional female boxer has evoked interest and sold tickets.
At the weigh-in, while the men were all about solemn faces and sideways contemptuous glances, the atmosphere in the female camp was distinctly different.
When Eva Wahlström stepped on the scales, she was all smiles. There were no signs of showing off of any kind.
Wahlström, who has an impressive career behind her as an amateur boxer, with two silver medals from the European Amateur Championships (2004, 2005) and ten Finnish titles in the 60kg category, said that blustering in the weighing room was “not her thing”.
“I cannot be that serious. I just can’t do it. The ring is no place for smiles, but I see no reason not to be friendly with the opponent in the weigh-in”, Wahlström said.
Wahlström knew hardly anything about her super featherweight opponent, 19-year-old Romanian Irina Boldea.
“I know her weight, as I just heard it”, Wahlström laughed. It was 58.5 kilograms. Wahlström herself was half a kilo lighter.
Part of the reason for Wahlström's lack of detail on her opponent stems from the fact that Boldea is in fact the third fighter to be put up against her for this particular bout.
Despite her promising career as an amateur boxer, some considerable time has elapsed from Wahlström’s last time in the ring.
The mother of a one-year-old boy has behind her a three-year-long battle against a complication caused by the salmonella bacteria.
“It has been all about making compromises. Considering the circumstances, my preparation for the fight has gone quite well”, said the boxer, who enters the ring straight from maternity leave.
Even with her experience as an amateur, Wahlström admitted that the first bout as a pro fighter had put butterflies in her stomach.
“I will try not to get too agitated and get a decent night's sleep”, she smiled.
Six fights in all will be seen on the Kisahalli programme, which commences tonight at 19:00.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Heavyweight hope Robert Helenius surprised at his brisk progress in the boxing ring (5.3.2010)
Boxing Night (in Finnish)
Robert Helenius (Wikipedia)
Eva Wahlström (Wikipedia)