JD Sports | August 9, 2023

This Saturday: Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius

This weekend, Anthony Joshua returns to the 02 Arena as he looks to add another W to his resume. Standing in his way; Robert Helenius.

A Damaged Division?

It has the potential to be the best division in boxing, but recently, it’s a weight class that’s found itself under increased scrutiny.


From drawn out negotiations, accusations of opponents ducking one another, and now a top contender in Dillian Whyte failing a drug test.


The timing of this revelation couldn’t have been worse for heavyweight boxing, and more importantly for AJ, who was supposed to rematch his compatriot.


With the late change, a key question will centre around AJ’s gameplan. The British superstar will have spent months in camp executing drills suited for ‘The Body Snatcher’.


Fortunately for Derrick Lewis and AJ, the replacement opponent shares the same orthodox stance as Whyte. This will be welcome news for AJ and his team. He has twice been picked apart by Oleksandr Usyk who’s a slick southpaw.


This chink in his armour is recognised by the man himself. Following his first defeat to the Ukrainian, he claimed that he would ‘smoke’ the now world champion if he wasn’t a southpaw.

Back to Winning Ways

Joshua goes into this bout with a record of 28 fights, 25 wins, 3 losses and 22 knockouts. After consecutive losses to Usyk, the Brit returned to winning ways with a unanimous decision over Jermaine Franklin.



It’s easy to think Jermaine Franklin might have been cherrypicked as an easy fight for AJ to gain some confidence. But the American is a robust opponent. It’s believed he was unlucky to lose against Dillian Whyte in his preceding contest.

The Nordic Nightmare

What do we know about the man who’s stepping in on short notice? Robert Helenius was born in Stockholm, Sweden, though he has chosen to represent Finland.


He has an edge on Joshua in terms of experience, he’s six years his senior and has eight more fights under his belt.


Of those contests, 32 resulted in a victory, with 21 of them coming by way of knockout. He has tasted defeat just once more than AJ.


Similarly to the man he’ll share a ring with on the weekend, he too bounced back to victory in his most recent fight.


Helenius was knocked out for the first and only time in his career at the hands of prolific knockout artist, Deontay Wilder.

Who Wins?

Despite the late change, AJ should relish fighting a man who’s of similar height and fights from an orthodox stance.


In contests gone by, the shorter man has been able to get under his jab and cause damage from close range. Carlos Takam, although he lost, caused more trouble than many anticipated.


Considering all of the above, it won’t be an easy night, but an AJ victory is expected as he continues on his quest to become a three-time world champion.

The Undercard

It’s a feast for fight fans as the undercard sees three entertaining heavyweight clashes. Filip Hrgović is in action against Demsey McKean of Australia.


Hrgović, nicknamed El Animal, is undefeated and one to keep a keen eye on. He’s beaten Zhilei Zhang and could be a possible opponent for Joshua in the future.


Another undefeated heavyweight is the Romford Bull, Johnny Fisher. The fan favourite goes toe-to-toe with Harry Armstrong for the Southern Area Heavyweight title.


Charismatic and often exciting, Derek Chisora squares off with Gerald Washington – who has beaten Helenius.


Also fighting is Campbell Hatton who takes on Tom Ansell, Maiseyrose Courtney clashes with Gemma Ruegg, and George Liddard faces Bas Oosterweghel.

Don’t Miss This!

Starting the evening is the undercard at around 7pm. As mentioned, there’s bound to be some explosive fights, so be ready.


The ring walks for the main event are scheduled for 10pm, which will hopefully cap off a mega night of boxing!

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