Robert Helenius steps in to face Anthony Joshua on just six days’ notice following the removal of Dillian Whyte.
‘The Nordic Nightmare’ has saved the show and its undercard after coming off of a low-level third round knockout just last week in his home country.
Tensions rose at the weigh-in and continued behind the scenes for the gloves meeting – a chance for both teams to select their primary and secondary options as well as inspect what the opponent will be sporting.
During the meeting, a pacing and frustrated Helenius inspected Joshua’s chosen Leone gloves, apparently feeling less padding in one, and said:
“This is f***ing ridiculous … You can say what you want, but that’s f***ing bull***t. Disgusting bull***t. Put the same gloves on my hands. F***ing bull***t. I need exactly the same gloves, okay? You know, everybody knows what the f**k is going on.”
Following further discussions, Matchroom representative Frank Smith assured Helenius’ side that they would provide the same gloves come fight night.
A member of the Finnish fighter’s team explained the situation as they saw it.
“We were not happy with the gloves they provided for us, because it was [such a] big difference between the gloves. We have asked for Grant gloves, but we didn’t know what kind of gloves AJ’s team chose.
When we tested them they were like Circle gloves – so little padding in gloves, it’s no padding at all. I’m not accepting that. So that’s why we’re going to have the exactly same gloves. It’s supposed to be a fair fight, and that’s why we have these meetings.”
A debate of this sort isn’t uncommon in the sport, with many opting for ‘punchers gloves’ to increase chances of a stoppage. Coming in at late notice, it’s clear Helenius wants to ensure a level playing field by opting to wear whatever Joshua does.
The pair are set to ringwalk at around 10PM – but fans will now know that a delay could likely be caused by round two of this argument.