Deontay Wilder made a triumphant return to boxing on Saturday (15 October), knocking out Robert Helenius in the first round of their main-event fight in Brooklyn.
It was the American’s first time stepping in the ring since a second consecutive stoppage loss to Tyson Fury one year ago.
Backed into the corner, Wilder – who turns 37 next week – hit Helenius with a short, straight punch from his famous right hand with seconds left on the clock in the opening round.
The shot dropped Helenius, who was left staring vacantly up at the ceiling of the Barclays Center.
In October last year, Wilder was knocked out in the 11th round by Fury, who successfully defended his WBC heavyweight crown in that trilogy fight in Las Vegas.
Briton Fury had taken the title from Wilder by knocking out the “Bronze Bomber” in their second clash, in February 2020. Prior to that contest, the rivals fought to a controversial split draw in December 2018.
Wilder is targeting Anthony Joshua as his next opponent but is expected to be ordered to face Andy Ruiz Jr next, in a final eliminator to determine Fury’s next challenger.