Deontay Wilder will return to boxing in October against Finland’s Robert Helenius, the American’s promoters have announced.
The former WBC heavyweight champion has not fought since completing his trilogy fight against current WBC champion Tyson Fury.
Wilder (42-2-1) was stopped in the 11th round by Fury in Las Vegas for his second straight loss to the Briton, who retained the WBC heavyweight title after their first fight in December 2018 ended in a split draw.
“It’s been a long journey for me and as of today it continues,” the 36-year-old, who was honoured with a statue in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama earlier this year, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I thought so many times about whether I should stay out of the business or come back. Once I got my statue in my hometown and saw so many people arrive and celebrate with me … made me feel like my job is not done.”
The fight between Deontay Wilder and Robert Helenius will take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, a lucky ground for the American where he has knocked out Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz and Bermane Stiverne.
Helenius (31-3) last fought on the card of the third Fury-Wilder fight, securing a sixth-round win against Poland’s Adam Kownacki. The “Nordic Nightmare” has won six of his last seven bouts.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time and I’m going to be ready,” said the 38-year-old.
“I’m going to produce an even bigger upset than I did with Kownacki. I’m going for the belt, so this is a fight to prepare me to achieve that goal.