August 13,2023.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Heavyweight Anthony Joshua spectacularly knocked out Robert Helenius with one punch in round seven, after boxing tentatively in the first half of the fight at London’s O2 Arena.
The 33-year-old Briton who was jeered by fans during the fight – landed nothing of note until an overhand right ended Helenius’ night.
The win is Joshua’s first stoppage win in two and half years, sets up a blockbuster fight with American Deontay Wilder in January.
“It’s a fickle sport, you’ve got to be real about this industry and not get caught up. I’ve done my job tonight,” Joshua told BBC Radio 5 live.
When asked in the ring about the potential fight with Wilder, Joshua joked: “My back’s gone, is there a doctor in here? I want to carry this heavyweight division to the top.”
After the knockout, an emotionally charged and smiling Joshua climbed out of the ring, high-fived fans and shared a beer with Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor.
Helenius needed oxygen after the heavy knockdown, but recovered and left the ring unassisted after congratulating Joshua.
Joshua extends his record to 26 wins with 23 stoppages and three defeats.
Finland’s Helenius who took the fight on a weeks’ notice after Briton Dillian Whyte failed a voluntary drug test loses his fifth pro fight in 36 outings.
Helenius took the middle of the ring and swung a wild left in the first few seconds. The ‘Nordic Nightmare’ looked unfazed by the hostile atmosphere but neither man landed anything of note in a cagey opener.
Joshua was moving freely, looking to set traps but throwing single shots and not imposing himself on the stand-in fighter.
Fans started to become restless as early as the third. Boos echoed around the arena. The crowd wanted to see combinations, not this tentative approach.
Joshua had not knocked out an opponent in the first half of a fight since beating Eric Molina in 2016, a staggering statistic for someone once considered one of the heaviest hitters in boxing.
The Watford-born fighter landed a solid left in the fourth which sent Helenius backpedalling, but there was no sustained attack to follow.
Helenius grew in confidence, landing jabs to mark Joshua under the eye in the fifth. There were more jeers from a bored crowd at the halfway stage.
“It’s hard to find the right hand,” Joshua told trainer Derrick James. The American replied: “Keep trying.”
Joshua adhered to the instructions. Those fans who left their seats missed what promoter Eddie Hearn described as the “knockout of the year”.
A double feint followed by a right sent the Finn to the canvas, with referee Victor Loughlin halting the contest.(www.naija247news.com)