Anthony Joshua nearly lost the plot during a simple face-off with his substitute opponent Robert Helenius, inviting him to fight to start slugging because he didn’t like the way he was looking at him ahead of their main event fight tonight live on DAZN from the O2 Arena in London.
Helenius is hungry, and he’s going to be on the hunt tonight, looking to poleax Joshua to knock him out in front of his fans at the O2 Arena. The ambition that Helenius has rivals Joshua’s before his career started heading south.
Helenius sees Joshua as his meal ticket because if he can beat him, he’ll be in an excellent position to challenge champion Oleksandr Usyk for his three belts.
Joshua is clearly worried about this fight because he knows that if he loses to Helenius, his mega-million payday fight against Deontay Wilder will be off the table for January. The Saudis aren’t going to give Joshua a boatload of money to fight Wilder if he’s coming off a knockout loss to Helenius.
The stress of losing three out of his last six fights, coupled with his poor performances in his victories, has put Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs).
Joshua vs. Helenius will be violent fight
“It was heated. I didn’t expect it. As they turned after the head to head, Helenius kind of kept his stare on him. I was thinking, ‘These two are absolute giants. Please don’t go off,'” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV, talking about the face-off between Anthony Joshua & Robert Helenius on Friday.
Hearn has got it wrong about what went down during the Joshua-Helenius face-off. Joshua started getting lippy with Helenius before he turned away.
AJ started mouthing off, and then when he turned away, Helenius kept starting because Joshua was trash-talking him. If Helenius had stopped staring, he would have looked cowardly, and Joshua would have punked him.
“I’ve never heard him speak like that before. All good,” said Hearn about Joshua. “It shows he’s switched on and up for it. I’d rather that than, ‘Good luck, mate.’ Go in the ring cold; go in the ring emotionless. Last-minute opponents are dangerous. He’s switched on and ready.”
“The danger for this kind of thing is that you’ve been training for Dillian Whyte, and then all of a sudden you get a new opponent that you don’t have as much emotion for,” said Hearn to Fight Hub TV about Joshua talking about wanting to fight Helenius during their face off.
“It was more likely that he didn’t like how he held his stare on him. I think it’s going to be a violent fight. Now with Helenius having been beaten in a round by Wilder, there’s no point in trying to match it. Just do your thing.
“Box well, box smart, break him down, beat him up, and all those things. I’m expecting a good performance tomorrow night,” said Hearn about Joshua.