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Anthony Joshua Defeats Robert Helenius with Seventh-Round Knockout, Eyes Deontay Wilder Next

Anthony Joshua (Right) delivered a powerful right hook to knock out Robert Helenius (Left) in the 7th Round this Saturday at London's O2 Arena
Anthony Joshua (Right) delivered a powerful right hook to knock out Robert Helenius (Left) in the 7th Round this Saturday at London's O2 Arena

Commencing with a hesitant and slow-paced start, Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) exhibited strategic patience before delivering a stunning finish 87 seconds into the seventh round.

Saudi Arabian representative talking to boxing promoter Eddie Hearn
Talks are underway between Saudi Arabian representatives and Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn to stage a fight between Joshua and Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) in January.

"In the ring, it's our dream match," stated Hearn. "We've got a trilogy planned: Helenius, Deontay Wilder, and then [WBC champion] Tyson Fury. The team is ambitious."

Hearn praises Joshua's maturity in the heavyweight division, crediting him for taking time to execute one of the most memorable knockouts of the year against Helenius. "He's poised for high-profile battles. His approach is smarter; he'll be more cautious."

Joshua is eager to battle Wilder, calling the potential duel a "victory" for the sport of boxing.

"It could've been Wilder eight years ago or Wilder now. It doesn't matter who or when; it's just a fight at the end of the day," Joshua said.

Substituting at the last minute for Dillian Whyte, who failed a drug test, Helenius (32-5, 21 KOs) posed a significant challenge but ultimately fell to Joshua. This win marks Joshua's first knockout since defeating Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, following two consecutive points losses to Oleksandr Usyk, the reigning WBA, IBF, and WBO world champion, and a careful unanimous points victory over Jermaine Franklin in April.

Joshua's knockout of Helenius, delivered with a resounding right hand, added to his career highlights, showing his remarkable prowess.

Unlike Wilder's swift first-round defeat of Helenius last October, Joshua, 33, took his time, and seemed unimpressed with matching Wilder's rapid knockout.

Helenius, 39, had only consented to the fight with Joshua after a third-round stoppage against Mika Mielonen in Finland just a week prior.

The O2 Arena was not filled to capacity due to the opponent change, and the sparse action early in the fight led to dissatisfaction among the crowd. Despite this, Joshua's strategic patience paid off when he ended the match in the next round with an enormous right hand, causing Helenius to collapse.

This comprehensive event, marked by Joshua's stunning victory and the promise of more thrilling matches, keeps heavyweight boxing at the forefront of sports entertainment.

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