Helenius Replaces Whyte As Joshua’s New Opponent

Anthony Joshua’s new opponent has been confirmed as Robert Helenius following Dillian Whyte’s ‘adverse finding.’ 

Joshua was set to face Whyte in a re-run of their 2015 bout when ‘AJ’ won via a seventh-round knockout.

However, following VADA’s findings, Matchroom pulled the fight as the talk turned towards Joshua’s next steps.

There were question marks over whether there was enough time to find a replacement, given that it was a one-week notice for the replacement.

In addition, several names were linked, including Derek Chisora and Filip Hrgovic. But now that Helenius has been confirmed, Joshua will be the heavy favorite. 

Helenius’ last major fight was a first-round-stoppage defeat to Deontay Wilder last year. In the aftermath, Helenius appeared to retire.

And yet, the Finnish boxer returned to fighting with a win over Mika Mielonen via a third-round TKO. And as the bout occurred on August 5th, 2023, Helenius will be fit and ready for Joshua. 

Hearn’s Comments

“To get the news on Saturday was really disappointing, not only for us but for Anthony Joshua and for the fans. But we got to work, and we have done what we’re good at – and we have managed to keep the show on.  

“AJ has been unbelievable throughout this whole process. He is someone who is ready to fight having trained for 12 weeks in Dallas with Derrick James. He has always been a great pro, but this just shows me again the hunger he has for the sport.

“He wants to go out there this Saturday in front of a sold-out O2 and perform. There were a lot of options. But we had to make sure it was the right fight for the right deal.  

“I think Robert Helenius is a good fight. Yes, he lost to Deontay Wilder but that was by a shot that would have probably knocked out a horse! But he came to fight.

“He can really punch, he’s 6ft 8in and he won at the weekend. Ultimately there is criticism in whatever you do, but I actually think this is a tricky and dangerous fight,” Hearn


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