Anthony Joshua flattened Robert Helenius in London to set up a mega-money fight with Deontay Wilder next – but Tony Bellew and David Haye believe one more fight in between would be a better move.
For the first six rounds, ‘AJ’ was tentative – likely a mixture of adopting a fresh style under a new trainer paired with nerves of yet another last minute opponent change.
In the seventh, he fired the right hand and Helenius slumped to the canvas. With that one punch, Joshua moves ever closer to fighting Wilder after years of the two former champions being unable to put pen to paper.
The Brit confirmed to Boxing Social post-fight that he was now looking towards facing ‘The Bronze Bomber.’ Despite that willingness, former cruiser and heavyweight world champion, Haye, advised against it.
He was asked if the Wilder talks weren’t as advanced, would he like Joshua to have another fight in between.
“I’d like to see him fight someone of the calibre of Robert Helenius again. Go out there and treat him like he’s Wilder. Because you can’t stand off Wilder, jabbing, keeping your hands real close up – he’ll just drill right down the middle of you.”
Bellew, also on punditry duty, agreed – suggesting a former opponent of Tyson Fury’s for Joshua.
“I just want to see him fight as regularly as possible … Otto Wallin … Not [Agit Kabayel], he’s too negative.”
All involved know that the money on the table means ‘AJ’ is much more likely to move straight into the Wilder bout, pencilled in for January in Saudi Arabia.
The pair are set to earn an incredible amount for facing off, and a win for Joshua would likely see him then pursue domestic rival and current WBC World Champion, Fury.