Former heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua delivered an emphatic performance at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday, taking down Robert Helenius in seven rounds. Although Helenius initially surprised spectators by lasting into the second half of the fight, Joshua’s massive right cross to the jaw sealed the victory at 1:27 of the seventh round.
The anticipated bout between Joshua and old rival Dillian Whyte was shelved due to Whyte’s adverse anti-doping findings, prompting Joshua to seek a new opponent on short notice. Helenius, who had secured a three-round win over Mika Mielonen in Finland just a week prior, stepped up to the challenge.
After suffering a first-round knockout from Deontay Wilder, Helenius viewed this fight as an opportunity to make a mark in the upper echelons of the heavyweight division. He began the fight with vigour, launching punches at Joshua’s guard in the first round.
By the second round, Joshua was asserting control, landing a left hook and effective jabs to the body. Despite assessing his opponent, Joshua’s measured approach drew boos from the crowd, urging him to pick up the pace.
Responding to the crowd’s demands, Joshua unleashed a powerful right cross in the fourth round that visibly affected Helenius. However, the Finn showed resilience, weathering Joshua’s attacks in subsequent rounds.
In the fifth, Joshua’s impactful right strike reverberated through the arena as it landed on Helenius, who was backed against the ropes. While the tempo slowed in the sixth, Joshua ramped up his efforts in the final round.
A deceptive jab from Joshua diverted Helenius’ attention before a swift right struck the Fin’s jaw with precision. The blow sent Helenius crashing to the canvas, marking the decisive end of the contest.
Joshua celebrated his victory, even leaving the ring momentarily before returning for the referee to officially raise his hand. Eager for bigger challenges, Joshua shouted, “My back’s gone. I’m carrying this heavyweight division to the top!”
The win propels Joshua toward a potential showdown with former WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder. Malik Scott, Wilder’s trainer, indicated that the fight is tentatively scheduled for January. With a new trainer in his corner and a dominant stoppage win under his belt, confidence will soar as he gears up for a battle with one of the division’s most powerful punchers.