BOXING

Anthony Joshua: Why I won’t measure Robert Helenius fight with Deontay Wilder comparisons

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Anthony Joshua is keen to ignore comparisons with Deontay WIlder as he prepares to face Robert Helenius at London’s O2 Arena.

Helenius was drafted in as a late replacement for Dillian Whyte after he failed a drugs test with the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) ahead of the contest that will be live and free on talkSPORT.

With Joshua eyeing a fight with Wilder at the start of 2024, comparisons will be made between the two superstars as fans and pundits look to predict who will come out on top.

Helenius may be a good indicator of that, having faced Wilder in October last year and suffering a first-round defeat to the Bronze Bomber.

Joshua v Helenius Weigh In

But while some are expecting Joshua to see off the Finnish veteran in a similar timeframe, AJ is refusing to be drawn into such comparisons.

“I have to ignore it. It is one step at a time,” Joshua insisted when asked about ex-WBC belt holder Wilder.

“When I fought Jason Gavern, I knocked him out, Wilder took longer. When I fought Eric Molina, I knocked him out in three and Wilder took nine rounds.

“There will always be comparisons. This is my own fight with Helenius, no-one else’s. I can’t fail.”

Robert Helenius with Deontay Wilder

Asked to compare Joshua and Wilder, Helenius added: “I can’t compare him to Wilder. I have also been sparring before with David Haye, I have been sparring the Klitschkos, both of them, I have been sparring Tyson Fury, Wilder.

“I have even been sparring Joshua when he was going against Klitschko so I have been a long time in this game.

“He is a tough guy. I think we went eight-round sessions. It was pretty close. Hard-hitter, good technicals, a little bit robotic but his last fight, he made a good fight against Jermaine.

“I haven’t been in the ring for a while with him but now is the best time to win.

“Nobody will remember a coward.”

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