Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius is two days away. We will have Joshua vs Helenius live updates on NYF; until then, let’s consider some of the storylines to this bout. And ponder, Is Time Running Out For AJ?
This weekend, heavyweight boxing is back.
Anthony Joshua, the former unified heavyweight champion of the world, is set to continue his heavyweight redemption tour against Finnish fighter Robert Helenius.
Here, we break down the implications of the fight, and ask ourselves just how important this fight is for Joshua, both in the short and longer term.
Anthony Joshua: Continues to Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
Anthony Joshua’s career has taken a massive, massive downturn in recent years.
Ever since his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, Joshua has massively struggled to get back to the fearsome fighter that was once seen as being this generation’s Lennox Lewis.
The fighter that engaged in one of the great firefights of recent years against Wladimir Klitschko has been a complete shadow of himself in recent years, casting a long-lingering spectre over the heavyweight division.
He seems a fighter that looks…lost.
After getting beaten twice by current unified heavyweight champion (and former undisputed cruiserweight champion) Oleksandr Usyk, in fights that some say exposed his lack of boxing skill, Joshua somewhat flattered to deceive in his comeback fight in February of this year against American Jermaine Franklin.
The memorable highlight of that particular fight being a post-fight brawl between Franklin, Joshua and their respective teams.
We will have Joshua vs Helenius live updates Saturday for those unable to watch live.
So, What Has Gone Wrong for Joshua?
The answer is actually quite simple.
Ever since getting knocked out (and humiliated) by Ruiz Jr. in 2019, we have not seen even a shade of the swaggering, broadside-firing AJ that fans in the UK and beyond had come to know and love.
And there’s a very clear correlation between those two facts.
Anthony Joshua is a fighter that is absolutely shot of confidence, simple as that.
In getting knocked out by Ruiz Jr, Joshua seems to have gone gun-shy, and is clearly very concerned about the thought of getting brutally knocked out again.
Joshua has come under a LOT (and I do mean a LOT) of criticism over the last few years for his unwillingness to go out and actively seek the knockout in his recent fights.
To that end, he parted ways with longtime trainer Rob McCracken and partnered with American Derrick James. Check out our Joshua vs Helenius live updates, to monitor how that pairing is meshing.
So far, this has still not brought about the necessary changes to AJ, and criticism continues to mount.
Even Eddie Hearn, AJ’s longtime friend and promoter, can only continue to defend AJ for so long.
He will be onsite for the event, you can scan Joshua vs Helenius live updates on NYFIGHTS.
Fighting Robert Helenius: How Significant Is This Fight?
Put simply, massively significant.
As you all know, Joshua was actually scheduled to be facing long time rival Dillian Whyte this weekend, running back their 2015 grudge match (one of the best fights of 2015, by the way).
Instead, Whyte returned an adverse drug finding from his VADA testing, so Finnish heavyweight Robert Helenius has been drafted in to save the day.
You might well be wondering why this fight is so significant.
After all, Helenius is basically a patsy for Joshua and a relatively “easy” fight (he literally fought just last Saturday in a 15th century medieval castle – I promise you that’s true).
No disrespect, but Helenius is most well known for getting knocked out in the first round by Deontay Wilder.
This fight is so significant for Joshua because his relevancy and influence in this heavyweight division hinges on this fight.
If he turns in another boring, sub-par performance, then this could well be it for AJ. We will call it as we see it during Joshua vs Helenius live updates.
Eddie Hearn has claimed (yet again) that this has been “the best training camp AJ’s ever had…it’s the best he’s ever looked” (sound familiar?). Even if Joshua has been facing Whyte, anything less than an emphatic knockout would have been considered a failure on his part
ALERT! Joshua vs Helenius Live Updates Saturday on NYFIGHTS
If this fight is allowed to go beyond 3 rounds, then realistically this is a complete failure for Joshua.
This might sound very harsh on Anthony Joshua, but it is the truth.
When you are a two-time unified heavyweight champion, you are held to a different standard. And Joshua has continuously failed to live up to that standard for a number of fights now. Check out his showing and click on NYF for Joshua vs Helenius live updates.
If Joshua remains content to jab and move against a sub-par opponent, then he could well be finished.
Yes, the heavyweight division is rapidly moving on from Anthony Joshua, and he is fighting not just to beat Robert Helenius, but to stay relevant and important in this heavyweight division.
It will be very interesting to see which Anthony Joshua shows up on Saturday night – if it is anything like the version of AJ recently, then not even Eddie Hearn may be able to defend him from another sub-par outing.