Anthony Joshua produced a devastating knockout against Robert Helenius to set up a blockbuster fight with Deontay Wilder.
The Finn, who stepped in on short notice for Dillian Whyte after a failed a drugs test, produced a disciplined display to frustrate ‘AJ’ for several rounds. But Joshua eventually caught Helenius with a clubbing right hand in the seventh round, suddenly ending the fight, sparking celebrations at ringside, including Conor McGregor.
Helenius had previously lost to Wilder, who was left in tears after stopping the 39-year-old in the first round in October. But now the Bronze Bomber is likely the next opponent for the Briton in one of the most anticipated fights in boxing history. The former two-time heavyweight champion could now face Wilder in Saudi Arabia, with negotiations for a January date already underway. Relive all the action, analysis and reaction from Joshua vs Helenius below.
Anthony Joshua walks to the ring to fight Robert Helenius
Here comes Anthony Joshua...
The violinist plays the theme to The Godfather.
In a red robe, AJ looks calm and collected. He needs a special performance here to regain that killer instinct and confidence ahead of a superfight with Deontay Wilder.
Joshua tipped by DAZN fight fans to win by KO against Helenius
The DAZN poll says Joshua by KO (77%), Helenius by KO (12%), Joshua on points (9%) and Helenius on points (2%).
Chisora outpoints Washington on Joshua vs Helenius undercard
The judges have it:
98-93, 97-94 and 96-94 all for Chisora. That is a stunner!
A unanimous decision for the Briton.
Washington confides in him afterwards, whispering a message in his ear. Both men show their class after the decision.
Conor McGregor enters ring ahead of Joshua vs Helenius
Derek Chisora goes the distance on Joshua vs Helenius undercard
This has been 10 long rounds. Both men are exhausted and don’t seem to have much left in them at the top of this sport.
Washington has probably done enough, a couple more crisp shots, timed on the sluggish Chisora, who could not impose his aggressive, brawling style on the American.
Could this be the end of ‘War’ Chisora?
Chisora vs Washington analysis on Joshua vs Helenius undercard
A bit of an ebb and flow to this fight. Chisora is going through spells where he looks quite tidy and is boxing positively, but he has ended a few of the rounds poorly - including the seventh just now, as he ate a combination of clean, heavy shots right before the bell. Those kinds of flurries can seal rounds, too.
Chisora lacking snap in punches against Washington on Joshua vs Helenius undercard
Chisora’s cut is problematic, of that there is no doubt, but he’s still bringing all the aggression to this fight.
Washington just wants to hold and move, the occasional jab dangled out.
The crowd starting to get back into this one now too, we move to the sixth.
Chisora struggling to connect with negative Washington on Joshua vs Helenius undercard
Chisora vulnerable to the uppercut when he leans in.
But the workrate is good from the Briton. Washington looks happy to circle the ring, brushing his shoulders against the ropes.
It’s agricultural work from Chisora though, barely thinking about a more cultured way of breaking down the American. The looping, overhand right is his trusty friend.
Conor McGregor attends Joshua vs Helenius fight
Chisora cut in early stages of Joshua vs Helenius undercard fight
A little blemish on Chisora’s right eye. He bounces in, hurling those thudding shots towards Washington.
Even the ones bouncing off the American’s arms seem to be having an effect.
Both men grappling and it’s becoming a little messy with Washington’s long arms locking in the brawler.
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