Anthony Joshua is now set to face Robert Helenius in a 12-round heavyweight bout, live on DAZN as part of regular subscriptions.
The initial fight between Joshua and Dillian Whyte was canceled after adverse analytical findings were reported by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA). Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions, and the British Boxing Board of Control were swiftly informed, leading to an immediate halt to the bout and a subsequent investigation.
DAZN’s pay-per-view subscribers who pre-ordered the initial fight will be refunded, but the reorganized event remains accessible worldwide.
An action-packed evening awaits fans, with a fight card full with compelling fights. Notable matchups include IBF Mandatory World Title challenger Filip Hrgovic taking on Australia’s Demsey McKean, Derek Chisora facing Gerald Washington, and rising star Johnny Fisher fighting for his first belt against Harry Armstrong.
Additionally, the card includes promising fights such as Campbell Hatton versus Tom Ansell, George Liddard against Bas Oosterweghel, and the debut of Brandon Scott with Matchroom against Louis Norman, among others.
Joshua’s reflections were those of a focused and gracious professional, stating, “This wasn’t in the script. I respect Helenius and may I say, I respect any male or female who steps into the ring. May the best man win.” Helenius expressed similar excitement and determination, referring to himself as a “true Viking” ready for the challenge.
Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn offered his perspective, expressing disappointment but also resilience. He praised Joshua’s professionalism and affirmed the matchup with Helenius as a “tricky and dangerous fight.” Hearn’s sentiments, coupled with Helenius’s performance against top fighters in the division, set the stage for an unpredictable showdown.
“I Hope Anthony Joshua Is Overlooking Me!” – Robert Helenius
“It’s pretty hard to explain an emotion at this point.” – These were Helenius’s words when Boxing News Online asked him to describe what he felt about the fight that could change his life.
“I was like ‘what now?’ I need a vacation. But five minutes later I was like, okay yes, let’s do this.”
His initial thought was not to take the fight, but he reminded himself, “we are Vikings.” Is it this Viking spirit that drives him? It seems so, as he decided to take the fight with only one week to prepare.
When Did You Get the Call?
“We hear it was five minutes after my last fight,” Helenius revealed. His manager informed him of the opportunity to fight Joshua, and though he initially resisted, the decision was made: “Let’s do this.”
What’s Your View of Anthony Joshua?
Helenius openly expressed his respect for Joshua, rating him very high as a really good technical boxer with powerful punches. He’s sparred with Joshua before, and he’s aware of the ups and downs in Joshua’s career.
“I respect him tremendously, but I feel confident that this is my time.”
Could Joshua be overlooking Helenius? The question hangs in the air. Late replacements have defeated Joshua before. Could history repeat itself? Helenius believes Joshua is fully prepared but hopes to surprise him.
Do You Feel Being a Late Replacement May Help You?
“I don’t know,” Helenius replies. But there’s a spark of hope that perhaps being a late replacement might give him an edge.
Did You Think Your Career at This Level Was Over?
“Yes,” Helenius admits. After losing to Deontay Wilder, he thought he was finished. But after some strength training and smaller fights, the fire was rekindled.
“Sometimes life gives; sometimes life takes.”
A powerful reminder that even in defeat, one can find new beginnings. Who could predict that he would have a bigger chance again?
How Big Is the Doping Problem in Boxing?
Helenius thinks doping is a significant problem in heavyweight boxing, expressing dissatisfaction with the punishment given to those caught.
“In Finland, if I would get caught, I would be two years suspended. Maybe that would be the way to go.”
Do You Need to KO Joshua?
“You got to catch him at some point,” Helenius admits. A knockout would be preferable, but he tends to think that if it happens, it happens.
Is Anthony Joshua more vulnerable now? Perhaps, but Helenius thinks he’s come over it a little bit. But this doesn’t diminish Helenius’s determination.
“I know a knockout would be preferable.”
Existing ticketholders can rest assured that their tickets will remain valid, with refunds available as needed. Meanwhile, new subscribers can sign up to DAZN to watch the fight, with several streaming options available to ensure accessibility.
ALL TIMES ARE LOCAL
17:00 DOORS OPEN
17:15 LIVE ON BEFORE THE BELL
6 x 2 mins Super-Flyweight contest MAISEYROSE COURTNEY 114.4 lbs v GEMMA RUEGG 113.8 lbs (Eltham, England) (Bournemouth, England)
6 x 3 mins Featherweight contest BRANDON SCOTT 131.9 lbs v LOUIS NORMAN 133.9 lbs (Swansea, Wales) (Shepshed, England)
6 x 3 mins International Middleweight contest GEROGE LIDDARD 162.3 lbs v BAS OOSTERWEGHEL 164.7 lbs (Billericay, England) (Tilburg, Netherlands)