“It could be a dangerous fight” Eddie Hearn expresses fear as Joshua fights Helenius on Saturday

Anthony Joshua will face Robert Helenius in a 12-round main event at The O2 on Saturday 12 August 2023 as a replacement for drug-tainted Dillain Whyte, a fight his promoter Eddie Hearn described as “could be a dangerous fight “.

The British Nigerian has not been convincing since he first lost his World titles to Andy Ruis and his back-to-back losses to Alexander Usyk further decimated his ego. 

He needed a reassurance fight which will increase his confidence level before attempting a shot for another world title bout.

A fight will Dillain Whyte satisfy all, he craved for as he to re-write the script of his rise from a fall by starting all over again with a second Whyte but it was never meant to be with Whyte allegedly failed a drug test. 

The organizer needed to save the night and Joshua needed to unleash his new tricks after hiring a new coach but Robert Helenius provided an alternative even at short notice.

“This wasn’t in the script,” began Joshua.

 “I respect Helenius and may I say, I respect any male or female who steps into the ring.” 

The former world champions lost Andy Ruis after the Mexican American stepped after Jared Miller failed a dope test, but AJ is convinced that the route may be the same but it’s going to be a different destination this time around.

I am laser-focused on the win. I can make steps forward to bigger and better things but the road map has a checkpoint, Saturday night. May the best man win.”  Joshua ended up analyzing his chances on a philosophical note.

On the hand, Helenius is excited about the fight and vow to make the best of the opportunity by not allowing it to slip away.

“I am excited about fighting Anthony Joshua on August 12,” said Helenius. “I am a true Viking that is willing to face any challenge at a moment’s notice. This is not an opportunity I was going to let slip away. I plan to make the most of it!” said Helenius.

Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn, the man at the center of the fight said they needed to overcome the disappointment of not having Dillain Whyte by getting Helenius but the match room promoter said ” he could be a dangerous fight ‘”

To get the news on Saturday was disappointing, not only for us but for Anthony Joshua and 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.”

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

The other cards on the night are as sumptuous as you can imagine as the fight casts as sweet as you can ever imagine.

IBF Mandatory World Title challenger Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) clashes with Australia’s undefeated contender.

Demsey McKean (22-0, 14 KOs) for a shot at Ukraine’s unified World Champion Oleksandr Usyk, two-time World Title challenger and fan favorite Derek Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) returns to the scene of so many of his famous wins to take on America’s Gerald Washington (20-5-1, 13 KOs) over ten rounds and Romford sensation Johnny Fisher (9-0, 8 KOs) has the opportunity to land his first belt when he faces off with Torquay’s Harry Armstrong (5-1-1) for the vacant Southern Area Title.


Elsewhere on the card, Hyde Super-Lightweight Campbell Hatton (12-0, 5 KOs) takes on Hitchen’s Tom Ansell (10-4, 2 KOs) over eight rounds, Billericay Middleweight prospect George Liddard (3-0, 3 KOs) goes for another knockout against Bas Oosterweghel (5-1, 3 KOs), Wales Featherweight talent Brandon Scott (5-0, 1 KO) makes his Matchroom debut against Shepshed’s Louis Norman (14-13-1, 2 KOs) and Eltham Super-Flyweight Maiseyrose Courtney (3-0) faces her toughest test against Bournemouth’s Gemma Ruegg (7-7, 1 KO)

Credit: 234 Sports

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