Breaking News :

Helenius steps in to fight Joshua as Whyte replacement

Finnish heavyweight Robert Helenius has stepped in on short notice to fight former world champion Anthony Joshua in London on Saturday after Dillian Whyte was ruled out for failing a drug test.

Promoters Matchroom stated on Tuesday that Helenius, 39, known as the “Nordic Nightmare” and who fought in Finland at the weekend, will face the Briton at London’s O2. The undercard remains as previously scheduled.

Helenius, who stopped compatriot Mika Mielonen in three rounds last Saturday, fought American former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder in New York last October and lost by first round knockout.

“This wasn’t in the script,” said Joshua, who lost his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021.

“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.”

Whyte was removed after it was revealed last Saturday he had returned “adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.”

Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn stated Helenius was a good opponent.

“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 really punch, he’s 6-foot-8 and he won at the weekend,” Hearn said. “Ultimately there is criticism in whatever you do, but I actually think this is a tricky and dangerous fight.”

Read Previous

Arsenal agree transfer fee for Brentford’s David Raya

Read Next

Auger-Aliassime, Andreescu knocked out of National Bank Open in 1st round

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *