While the knockout may have signalled the return of the old Joshua, in truth, it was a performance that was nothing to write home about.
From the beginning, Helenius managed to stay out of range, not looking like a man who was fighting on a one week notice.
Joshua’s reluctance to throw combinations was evident once again, although AJ did catch his opponent’s attention with a left hand during the fourth round, as he put Helenius on the ropes.
The failure to throw his right hand made it a frustrating night, until the seventh. Joshua landed an overhand right after a series of jabs, just as he was putting Helenius on the ropes, to end the fight in an instant.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) August 12, 2023
It was Joshua’s first knockout win since 2020 when he stopped Kubrat Pulev, but the jeering from the crowd in the aftermath, showed that AJ will need a better performance if he wants to beat Wilder in their potential January showdown.
“People need to leave me alone, let me breathe a bit, Helenius, I told him, please come again, he’s got talent. He will cause a lot of people problems, credit to him, saving the show. I’ll see you again soon, hopefully two more times this year, I need to stay busy. “My back’s gone, I’m carrying this heavyweight division to the top,” Joshua
“It’s the fight we want, it’s a three-fight plan, Helenius, Deontay Wilder, then Tyson Fury. That’s the ambition of the team. Things have changed, he’s a mature heavyweight. He took his time and delivered one of the knockouts of the year. He’s smarter, he’ll take his time.
“It’s dangerous coming in, everybody expects one round, two rounds, three rounds. He saved the show. It’s a box ticked, now it’s Wilder in January. Saudi Arabia want[s] a January date, Shelly texted me with a fingers crossed, it’s one of the biggest fights of all time,” Hearn
Anthony Joshua def. Robert Helenius via a seventh-round KO – Heavyweight
Filip Hrgovic def. Demsey McKean via a 12th round KO – Heavyweight
Derek Chisora def. Gerald Washington via a unanimous decision: 97-94, 98-93, 96-94 – Heavyweight
Johnny Fisher def. Harry Armstrong via a seventh-round KO – Heavyweight
Campbell Hatton def. Tom Ansell via a decision: 78-74 – Super Lightweight
Maisey Rose Courtney def. Gemma Ruegg via a decision: 60-54 – Super Flyweight
George Liddard def. Radek Rousal via a decision: 59-55 – Middleweight
Brandon Scott def. Louis Norman via a decision: 60-54 – Super Featherweight