Anthony Joshua reveals reason for accepting Robert Helenius as replacement for Whyte

Anthony Joshua reveals reason for accepting Robert Helenius as replacement for Whyte

Anthony Joshua “didn’t want to let anyone down” when he agreed to fight late replacement Robert Helenius at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.

Briton Joshua, 33, will face Finland’s Helenius after Dillian Whyte failed a drugs test last weekend.

Finland’s Helenius, 39, took the fight at less than a week’s notice.

“I also looked at the undercard [for a potential opponent before selecting Helenius], I know how much it means to them to compete,” said Joshua.

Speaking at Wednesday’s news conference, the two-time world champion added: “I didn’t want to let anybody down, my coach, [broadcaster] Dazn.

“It’s kind of like a responsibility, I know late replacements aren’t ideal.”

Anthony Joshua explained that he felt a feeling of obligation to continue with the event.

Speaking at a press conference Joshua said, “Yes so I also looked at the undercard as well and I know how much it means for them to compete.

“I know how hard (Matchroom) guys work and not only (Eddie Hearn), all your backroom staff. I didn’t want to let anyone down, my coach, DAZN, so it is kind of like a responsibility.

“Late replacements are not ideal but it is the third time it has happened. We had it with Kubrat Pulev and (Carlos) Takam, Jarrell Miller and Andy Ruiz Jr so this is what happens.

“A long career will present these type of obstacles and I just have to get used to them. Yeah, this is another rock on my shoe towards the top of the mountain.

“Helenius fought on Saturday, he is doing the right thing. As a fighter, you have to stay busy, you have to stay active and keep expressing your skill because that is the only way to improve.

“Obviously I haven’t been fighting, I fought at the start of April (against Jermaine Franklin) but I spent a lot of time in the ring.”

Helenius will enter the ring for the 37th time, and after falling victim to a nasty knockout loss against Deontay Wilder last October.

Also on the card fan favorite Derek Chisora returns to the location of so many of his memorable victories to take on American Gerald Washington over ten rounds.

IBF Mandatory World Title challenger Filip Hrgovic battles against Australia’s undefeated contender Demsey McKean.

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