By Victor Kanayo
Few days after Dillian Whyte could not go on to fight following drug related issues, Anthony Joshua has formally announced a new opponent.
He is Robert Helenius.
This was disclosed by Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, while speaking via talksports on Tuesday morning.
He also confirmed that the fight will still hold on Saturday as earlier scheduled.
Joshua was due to fight old rival, Whyte, at the O2 Arena this weekend, but the fight was cancelled after a random anti-doping test on Whyte returned “adverse analytical findings”.
Hearn said the fight would not take place on pay-per-view on streaming platform DAZN, with fans able to watch as regular subscribers.
He said, “We saw him (Hellenius) batter Adam Kownacki [in 2020 and 2021], he lost to Deontay Wilder, he got knocked out by a shot that would have knocked out a horse and he came to fight – that’s the reason he got knocked out in that fight.
“He can punch, he’s 6 ft 8. He won at the weekend, sent me a message from the changing room. I think it’s a tricky fight, it’s quite a dangerous fight.”
“This wasn’t in the script. I respect Helenius and may I say, I respect any male or female who steps into the ring. I am laser focused on the win. I can make steps forward to bigger and better things but the road map has a check point, Saturday night. May the best man win,” Joshua said.
Responding, the 39-years-old Hellenius said, ”I am a true Viking that is willing to face any challenge at a moment’s notice,
“This is not an opportunity I was going to let slip away. I plan to make the most of it.”
Helenius defeated Mika Mielonen by stoppage time last Saturday in a fight and will step in at short notice to face Joshua.