Anthony Joshua, the former unified world heavyweight champion, delivered a seventh-round knockout victory against Robert Helenius in a thrilling match at London’s O2 Arena.
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that the planned bout between Joshua and Deontay Wilder is set for January in Saudi Arabia, expressing confidence that all parties are prepared to sign the contracts.
Joshua expressed gratitude to Robert Helenius for stepping into the fight on short notice. He shared his aspiration to fight twice more within the year, aiming to regain his position at the summit of the heavyweight division.
Round one commences with Helenius taking an offensive approach, while Joshua responds with a well-placed straight right to test his opponent’s reflexes. The initial round revolves around both fighters gauging each other’s distance, assessing defensive strategies, and collecting range information.
The second round remains tightly contested, with a notable moment being Joshua’s successful connection of an overhand right with a minute left. Although it doesn’t hurt Helenius significantly, it demonstrates Joshua’s ability to breach his defense.
In the third round, both fighters continue their cautious defensive postures. The crowd’s impatience becomes evident, as they express dissatisfaction with the lack of action. AJ slightly intensifies his aggression, attempting more probing shots, but both boxers remain cautious due to the threat of counter punches.
Joshua enters the fourth round with increased aggression, only to be caught by a counter right. He quickly regains his defensive stance and continues with probing shots. Later in the round, he manages to land a solid right hand on Helenius.
Despite the crowd’s sentiments, the fight unfolds as a physically demanding contest. Swelling appears on Joshua’s right eye, while Helenius suffers a nosebleed. The fifth round sees both fighters exchanging stiff jabs, with AJ’s punches landing more effectively. The round ends with Joshua connecting a powerful left hook on Helenius.
As the sixth round begins, Joshua seems to have established his range, landing impactful shots and evading counterattacks. Helenius pushes forward, but his punches mostly meet Joshua’s gloves. Towards the round’s end, Joshua’s powerful right hand forces Helenius to hold on.
Round seven starts with both boxers trading jabs, yet neither gains a clear advantage. However, around the one-minute-forty-second mark, Joshua lands a colossal right hand squarely on Helenius’s chin, resulting in an immediate knockout. The referee opts not to count and stops the fight immediately. Medical staff rush in to attend to Helenius’s well-being, ensuring his safety after the knockout.