Dillian Whyte is staying busy as he chases a 2018 title shot.
THE RING’s No. 7 heavyweight will fight Robert Helenius on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales, promoter Matchroom Sport announced Sunday.
Whyte-Helenius will serve as the co-feature to Anthony Joshua’s title defense against Kubrat Pulev, though it’s unclear if Showtime will televise both fights.
Whyte (21-1, 16 knockouts) lobbied for a fight with Deontay Wilder, but the Brit will have to wait for his first title shot. Instead, he’ll face Helenius, a former top prospect from Finland.
“I think we have made it very clear, we want to make Dillian vs. Deontay Wilder and this WBC Silver title will put us in prime position,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Helenius is a giant of a man with plenty of experience and this is a tough test for Dillian, it’s going to be explosive.”
Whyte, 29, made his American debut in August with a third-round stoppage of journeyman Malcolm Tann. “The Body Snatcher” didn’t land a notable fight in 2017, but he engaged one in each of the past two years.
He battled Dereck Chisora in a fight of the year candidate in 2016 and prevailed via split decision. And the year before, he tested Joshua’s chin before he was stopped in Round 7.
“It’s been a very frustrating few months trying to get someone to fight me,” said Whyte. “I thank Robert for stepping up. … I love to fight and I’m looking forward to being back in the ring, getting the victory and moving on to challenge for the world heavyweight title.”
Helenius, a former No. 2 heavyweight amateur in Europe, never fulfilled his vast potential. “The Nordic Nightmare” stands tall at over 6-foot-6, and he scored a few wins over notable names past their best days, like Samuel Peter and Lamon Brewster.
The 33-year-old even scored a victory Chisora, but before he could ever gain a title shot, he was knocked out by Johann Duhaupas in 2016.
“This is a huge fight and I’m excited about fighting the winner of last December’s thriller between Whyte and Chisora,” said Helenius (25-1, 16 KOs). “Chisora and I were scheduled to fight in May but he ran. To my understanding Dillian is not a runner and he will stand and fight. This is a big fight for the heavyweight division and may the best man win.”
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing