Former heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder is back.
And he looks as dangerous as ever.
Wilder stopped Robert Helenius less than three minutes into their main event Saturday night. The bout headlined the FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view broadcast from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In the co-main event, Caleb Plant scored a victory over Anthony Dirrell.
Wilder and Helenius were meeting in a title-eliminator for the WBC belt.
In his first fight since an epic trilogy with Tyson Fury, Wilder stepped into the ring for the first time in just over a year and quickly reminded the world why he’s one of the most feared punchers in boxing history.
“It’s just amazing to be back in Brooklyn,” Wilder said. “It’s like a second home to me. It feels so good to be back. When I got off the plane, I felt the great energy and the love, and that’s all I needed.”
After a mostly cautious first round, in which Wilder only landed three punches according to CompuBox, Wilder caught a lunging Helenius with a short right hand that has ended the nights of numerous heavyweights over the last decade plus.
“It’s been a good camp for me,” Wilder said. “We worked to make this fun for me. We work at this so much that it can just become a job. We made it fun again. We put in over 700 rounds and it paid off tonight big time.”
Plant, a former super middleweight champion, earned his own finish when he stopped Dirrell in the ninth in their WBC 168-pound eliminator.
“I’m ready for whatever comes next,” Plant said. “I’m going to spend some time with my family, but then I’m ready for the biggest fights that we can make.”