Sports

Anthony Joshua beats Helenius to secure first knockout win in three years

Anthony Joshua, the British boxer of Nigerian heritage, defeated Robert Helenius, his opponent, via knockout in their heavyweight boxing bout at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night.

The former heavyweight champion won the fight after he handed his opponent from Finland a brutal punch in the seventh round.

With the triumph, Joshua scores his first knockout win since December 2020 when he defeated Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in a WBA, IBO, IBF and WBO title defence.

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Helenius, who replaced banned Dylian White one week before the bout, required oxygen but recovered to congratulate a slim-looking Joshua before exiting the ring unaided.

“I knew this would happen, everyone’s talking about the new AJ and the old AJ and after two or three rounds the crowd starts to get a little bit impatient,” said Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, in a chat with BBC.

“He finds the measure of his right hand and he delivers one of the knockouts of the year on Robert Helenius… this is just the AJ you’re going to see now.

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“He’s still got to be more aggressive than we saw tonight but there’s a lot on the line.”

It is back-to-back wins for Joshua after his decision victory against Jermaine Franklin in April.

It is also his second victory since relinquishing his heavyweight title belts to Oleksandr Usyk who defeated him on two occasions.

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Usyk defeated Joshua on September 25, 2021. The British boxer also suffered in the hands of his Ukrainian counterpart for the second time on August 21, 2022.

Joshua extends his record to 26 wins and three defeats, with 23 of his wins coming via knockout.

The 33-year-old is expected to fight Deontey Wilder in January 2024.

Wilder knocked out Helenius in the first round of their fight last October.

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