Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has delivered a seventh-round knockout of Robert Helenius in their heavyweight affair making it his first KO win since he defeated Kubrat Puliev on December 12, 2020.
Joshua was originally set for his third clash with Whyte at the O2 Arena, having lost to his fellow Briton as an amateur before knocking him out in 2015. However, Whyte returned an adverse finding in a drug test last week, leading him to be pulled from tonight’s main event. Helenius stepped in, just seven days after having fought and won in Finland.
Helenius attempted to get Joshua on the back foot by fighting aggressively but Joshua calmly built up his attack with his jabs and waited for his opening which did not come until the seventh round.
The London crowd was getting restless in the third round as boos echoed around the arena with Joshua still refusing to throw any dangerous punches.
Then he silenced the 02 audience with a fast right hand that sent Helenius tumbling after a three-punch combination.
Helenius folded, rolling down the ropes and the referee didn’t even look to make a count, it was over so quickly.
Joshua celebrated the win by leaping outside the ring and embracing former UFC champion Conor McGregor.
This is a huge win for Joshua who had been urged to become more aggressive after his last three fights went the distance as fans sought to see his knockout side again.
Although Deontay Wilder knocked Helenius out in the first round, Joshua will be encouraged by this result ahead of his potential clash against the former WBC heavyweight champion.