ANTHONY JOSHUA will face a new opponent in Robert Helenius this weekend at the O2 Arena.
AJ was supposed to fight Dillian Whyte on Saturday night, but the bout was called off after the Body Snatcher failed a drugs test.
Since then, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has been scrambling to find a replacement for Whyte.
Heavyweights Filip Hrgovic, Derek Chisora, Demsey McKean, and Gerald Washington were all considered for the same card.
But Helenius, who had previously fought both Whyte and Chisora, was eventually chosen.
Helenius was knocked out in the first round by Deontay Wilder last year, but he won again only last weekend.
The Finnish veteran stopped his opponent in three rounds in his first victory since defeating Adam Kownacki on the undercard of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3.
Joshua is coming off a lackluster points victory against Jermaine Franklin in April, but he’ll be looking for a KO victory here.
Joshua hasn’t won via knockout since destroying Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round in December 2020, before losing two title fights to Oleksandr Usyk.
If Joshua defeats Helenius, he will meet Wilder in a fight that will most likely take place in Saudi Arabia in 2024.
When is Joshua vs Helenius?
- Joshua’s clash with Helenius will take place on Saturday, August 12.
- The fight will be held at the O2 Arena in London.
- The main card is set to start at 7pm BST.
- Ring-walks for the main event will likely get underway from around 10.30pm BST.
Why was the Dillian Whyte fight cancelled?
Joshua vs. Whyte will not take place because Whyte failed a drug test.
“Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions, and the British Boxing Board of Control that Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol,” Matchroom said in a statement.
“In light of this news, the fight will be canceled, and an extensive investigation will be carried out.” More details on the event will be provided later.”
SunSport understands that Vada returned TWO failed tests.
How can I watch Joshua vs Helenius?
- Joshua vs Helenius will be shown on DAZN in the UK.
- AJ’s fight with Whyte was originally going to be shown on DAZN PPV, but the decision has been made to make the Helenius fight part of your standard subscription.
- DAZN offer a monthly subscription for £9.99 which commits you to an entire year of action.
- Or, fans can pay an upfront fee of £99.99 and that will cover you for the whole year – plus it is the lowest cost option.
- Alternatively, there is a flexible pass worth £19.99 a month which can be canceled at any time.
- The event is available to live stream via your mobile or any tablet device where the DAZN app can be downloaded.
- Sky will also have fight coverage through channel 429 – the DAZN channel.
Joshua vs Helenius full card
- Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius
- Derek Chisora vs Gerald Washington
- Filip Hrgovic vs. Demsey McKean
- Johnny Fisher vs. Harry Armstrong
- George Liddard vs. Radek Rousal
- Maisey Rose Courtney vs. Gemma Ruegg
- Campbell Hatton vs. Tom Ansell
What has been said?
“This wasn’t in the script,” said Joshua.
“I respect Helenius and may I say, I respect any male or female who steps into the ring. I am laser focused on the win.
“I can make steps forward to bigger and better things but the road map has a check point, Saturday night. May the best man win.”
“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 moments notice. This is not an opportunity I was going to let slip away. I plan to make the most of it!”