Robert Helenius, Cecilia Braekhus to fight on Valuev-Chagaev undercard
Robert Helenius will be eager to give his Scandinavian fans a first-hand look at his rising talents when he enters the ring in Helsinki on May 30. The “Nordic Nightmare”, as he is known in Germany, will be in action on the undercard of the WBA heavyweight title fight between Nikolai Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev. It will be the 25-year-old´s second professional fight at the Hartwall Arena where he clinched a unanimous points decision over Remigijus Ziausys back in November 2008. “I really look forward to fighting in Helsinki again,” Helenius said. “I want to show my fans why they call me the “Nordic Nightmare” in Germany. I have learned so many things during the one year with Team Sauerland and I am keen to prove that on May 30..”
Helenius (6-0, 2 KOs), who was born in Sweden and raised in Finland, celebrated a successful professional debut in May 2008 when he knocked out experienced German Gene Pukall in the first round. He has won five more fights since then. “Robert certainly has a golden future ahead,” Sauerland Event sports director Hagen Doering said. “He has got what it takes to be a champion. His is picking up things very quickly in practice and keeps improving every day.”
Doering discovered the gifted Scandinavian during the 2006 European Amateur Championships when he won the silver medal. Doering then brought Helenius to Germany where he fought for Hertha BSC Berlin as an amateur before officially joining Team Sauerland as a professional one year ago.
“We are very pleased with his development,” said head coach Ulli Wegner, who has also led Arthur Abraham, Cecilia Braekhus, Markus Beyer and Sven Ottke to world titles. “Robert is a tough guy and he works very hard. He has the talent to be a champion one day.”
Prior to the fight in Helsinki, Helenius has some business to take care of in Germany. This Saturday, he will return to the ring on the undercard of the European cruiserweight title fight between Marco Huck and Vitaliy Rusal, taking on Ozcan Cetinkaya in Bamberg. “I was very happy when I heard about the show in Helsinki, but right now, all my focus is on Saturday,” Helenius said. “Once I have beaten Cetinkaya, I will shift my attention to the next fight.”
Helenius last fought in February when he clinched a spectacular first-round KO over Enrico Garmendia in Neubrandenburg. He returned to practice straight away, spending most of the time in the famous Max-Schmeling-Gym near Berlin´s Olympic Stadium or in Sauerland´s training camp base in Kienbaum, which is 20 miles east of the German capital. “I did not get any rest at all since my last fight,” Helenius said with a smile. “But that is no problem – I am very ambitions and I am keen to accomplish my goals.”
Cecilia Braekhus to fight on Valuev-Chagaev undercard in Helsinki
Cecilia Braekhus will make a first defence of her WBA/WBC female welterweight titles when she comes face-to-face with Amy Yuratovac in Helsinki on May 30. The “First Lady” (11-0, 2 KOs) is already looking forward to her first-ever professional fight in Scandinavia. “I am thrilled to be fighting in Helsinki,” the newly-crowned world champion said. “I have a lot of friends in Finland and I hope that many fans from Norway will come over to support me.” The “First Lady” is also good friends with Eva Wahlström, Finland’s most successful amateur boxer. “We have been in close touch ever since our amateur days,” Braekhus added. “I look forward to seeing her ringside on May 30.”
Braekhus wrote boxing history in March 2009 when she edged Denmark´s Vinni Skovgaard in Kiel to become Team Sauerland´s first-ever female world champion. It was also the first time that German public TV station ARD televised a women fight. “I still find it hard to believe that I am a world champion now,” Braekhus said. “It is very special. I was very proud to pay back all the confidence Team Sauerland has put in me. Now it is my goal to win all belts in my weight class.”
Winning the world title has changed Braekhus´ life forever, with media publications in Norway and German flooding her with PR requests. “My mailbox is always full,” she smiled. “But I really enjoy doing this kind of stuff – at least it is not as exhausting as Ulli Wegner´s training sessions.” The “General”, as he is known to his boxers, would never grant his stars a championship bonus. Much on the contrary. “Just ask Arthur Abraham about it,” said Braekhus of the IBF middleweight champion, who knows one thing or two about exhausting training sessions under the guidance of the 67-year-old.
For the past three weeks, Braekhus has been working out in Team Sauerland´s training camp base in Kienbaum, which is 20 miles east of Berlin. “It is my goal to become faster, better and stronger,” she said. “I keep improving every day and I want to show that in Helsinki on May 30.”
Tickets for the hotly-anticipated fight night at the Hartwall Arena are available at www.lippu.fi as well as +358 600 900 900. VIP packages can be purchased at www.revengeofthegiant.com.
Article posted on 06.05.2009
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