Anthony Joshua’s seventh round stoppage of Robert Helenius has seemingly cleared the path for a fight against fellow former champion, Deontay Wilder.
The heavyweight contest has consistently failed to materialise, frustrating fans and brewing bad blood over a period of some years.
Neither man has a world title now, but the intrigue as to who comes out on top – more than likely by stoppage – remains.
Helenius spoke to FightHype about the pair, first saying that he respected Joshua but feels he could’ve performed better in London had he not been a last-minute replacement opponent.
“Afterwards, I feel a little bit sorry that I didn’t train for a longer time. 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 for Wilder – who produced a knockout in the first round after just three landed punches – Helenius says he was surprised by his ability to throw his famed right hand off the back foot.
Compliments for both, but no comment when he was asked who he believes would win.
“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.
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.”
For fans keen to hear the Finnish fighters final prediction, it will likely come if the fight is signed and sealed. For now, all they can take from it is that Wilder’s boxing technique isn’t as one-note as many say.
All word from the promotional teams is that the transatlantic clash is the goal for early 2024 and meeting with Saudi Arabia representatives are ongoing.