Helenius On Joshua: ‘He’s Standing In My Way’
While he is looking to take some time off, Robert Helenius has championship gold on his mind. “The Nordic Nightmare” is looking to continue his momentum by taking out one of the top stars today in Anthony Joshua.
Helenius (30-3) is coming off of a TKO victory over Adam Kownacki last March from inside the Barclays Center. As a result, he became the mandatory challenger for the WBA Heavyweight Title. His goal since starting his career has been to be Finland’s first world champion. Speaking to Boxing Scene, he believes that is possible if he were to face Joshua.
“If I fight with Joshua,” Helenius stated, “that would mean that Finland will have a new world champion.
“I think it would be a really interesting fight. It would go well for me. I’ve also been there, sparring with him, so I know him a little bit. He’s a good guy. I like him a lot. But he’s standing in my way for the title, so I have to take him down.”
During his fight with Kownacki, Helenius gave it his all in the second to make it competitive. Both swung away to give the fight some life. He started tagging Kownacki in the third, and in the fourth round he knocked Kownacki to the floor. Kownacki claimed it was a slip. A barrage of punches later and the referee called the fight off. As a result, Helenius won the WBA Gold Heavyweight Title and the right to challenge Joshua.
Helenius was a man of his word in a FIGHT SPORTS exclusive when he said he would counter-punch Kownacki and stick and move around the ring. He saw the same thing in Joshua when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr. in a rematch last December. Avoiding the knockout power of Ruiz, Joshua was able to reclaim his belts after losing them to Ruiz last June.
As far as how long Helenius will have to wait for Joshua, there appears to be a line. Joshua is currently set to face off against Kubrat Pulev for the IBF Heavyweight Title, while Oleksandr Usyk is the contender for the WBO Heavyweight Title. Charles Martin is the second-ranked challenger for Joshua’s IBF belt, beating Gerald Washington earlier this year. Add the fact that we could get Joshua v. Tyson Fury and Helenius will have to be a patient man.
Some may be doubting the 36-year-old, but Helenius embraces it. Helenius has even stated before that he believes he could beat the 30-year-old. In his eyes, the atmosphere, if he were to beat Joshua, would be just like the Kownacki fight. That is something he thrives off of.
“I think it would be like Barclays Center all over again,” Helenius went on to say. “There would be booing and stuff like that in the beginning. And then, as the fight goes on, it will be very quiet.”