Former heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder and Robert Helenius are in the process of finalizing a deal for a PBC on FOX pay-per-view fight Oct. 15 at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) contemplated retirement following a brutal 11th-round KO loss to Tyson Fury in their October 2021 bout that was named ESPN's Fight of the Year.
The 36-year-old will finally face a different opponent for the first time since November 2019, following two consecutive inside-the-distance defeats to Fury.
Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) last fought on the Fury-Wilder undercard, when he scored a TKO over Adam Kownacki in a second consecutive bout.
The fringe contender, who fights out of Finland, has competed just three times since a KO defeat to Gerald Washington in July 2019.
Wilder, ESPN's No. 3 heavyweight, delivered perhaps his most memorable career performance in defeat. He was given little chance following the second meeting with Fury, when "The Gypsy King" brutalized him en route to a seventh-round TKO, but Wilder was able to floor Fury twice in Round 4.
The Olympic bronze medalist is perhaps the most imposing puncher in boxing, and with a win he could find himself in line for a matchup against Andy Ruiz next year if the former champ defeats Luis Ortiz on Sept. 4.
Heavyweight contender Frank Sanchez is slated to compete on the Oct. 15 undercard, sources said. BoxingScene.com first reported the Wilder-Helenius news.