Home Boxing News Heavy hitters weigh in on Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder bout

Heavy hitters weigh in on Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder bout

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. Photo credit: LAPRESSE

Former world heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua 26-3 (23) and Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) look to be on a collision course in Saudi Arabia in January next year.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed over the weekend that the deal was all but done and said he expected to have an announcement within the next two to three weeks.

Britain’s Joshua, 33, cleared the final hurdle to the fight when he knocked out late replacement Robert Helenius 32-5 (21) in seven rounds at the O2 Arena in London on August 12.

The 39-year-old Finn was one fight removed from a first-round knockout loss to former big punching WBC champion Wilder in Brooklyn last October.

Helenius stepped in to fight Joshua on five days notice one week after he rolled through over matched Mika Mielonen 6-1 (5) in his homeland one week earlier. The opportunity presented itself after original opponent Dillian Whyte 29-3 (19) was scratched after submitting a positive drug test.

A single right hand from former two-time unified champion Joshua felled Helenius midway through the seventh frame and the fight was waved off at the 1:27 mark.

“Afterwards, I feel a little bit sorry that I didn’t train for a longer time,” Helenius said of the Joshua bout to FightHype. “I would have been in better shape and could have gone all rounds with him.

“I felt good in the fight in the first six rounds. But after that, the reaction time and everything, it goes down. I just had like four rounds sparring in the training camp.

“I have nothing but respect for [Joshua]. He’s a brilliant fighter and I have only good things to say about him, no bad blood with him.”

As a common opponent for both Joshua and Wilder, Helenius gave his thoughts on the potential match-up.

“Well it’s hard to say, and it’s a little bit too early. I haven’t even thought about that yet, but I think it would be an interesting fight,” Helenius said.

“Of course, against Wilder the one round that it took it was also like an accident [from me.] I didn’t think he could fight on his back foot and he trained that, so he’s also adapting [as a] boxer.

“It’s an interesting question. It would be a very, very successful fight for both I think.”

While Helenius hedged his bets, one person who is adamant about the outcome is retired former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Class of 2009.

“Joshua against Wilder? Definitely Wilder,” Lewis said to ES News.

“Wilder’s got that thing in him where he wants to hurt you and I’ve seen it every time he throws that right hand, he’s trying to damage you with that right hand. He’s throws it with intention.”