Anthony Joshua vs. Robert Helenius fight prediction, odds, undercard, start time, preview, expert pick

Two-time former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s attempt to punch his way back to a world title fight continues on Saturday, though not in the fight he was expecting. Joshua will fight late-replacement Robert Helenius at London’s O2 Arena.

Helenius is stepping in on less than one week’s notice after Dillian Whyte failed a VADA pre-fight drug test. Not only is Helenius in on short notice, but he also is coming off a fight on Aug. 5, defeating Mika Mielonen by third-round TKO.

The win over Mielonen was Helenius’ first fight since a crushing first-round knockout loss to Deontay Wilder in October 2022. The loss to Wilder halted the momentum Helenius built with a pair of wins over Adam Kownacki.

Joshua has been looking to rebuild after losing his WBA, WBO and IBF titles to Oleksandr Usyk and losing again in the rematch. He picked up a win in his first post-Usyk fight, defeating Jermaine Franklin by unanimous decision in a relatively dull affair that was met with a fair amount of criticism.

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The goal for Joshua is to land back in big fights, such as a clash with fellow former champion Wilder or an all-England clash with WBC champion Tyson Fury.

To get those opportunities, Joshua can’t afford any surprises, like his stunning 2019 upset loss to Andy Ruiz. He will need to handle Helenius and it would benefit him to do so impressively, especially considering the ease with which Wilder dispatched of Helenius this past year.

Joshua vs. Helenius fight card, odds

Anthony Joshua -1600 Robert Helenius +900 Heavyweight
Filip Hrgovic -800 Demsey McKean +550 Heavyweight
Derek Chisora -650 Gerald Washington +475 Heavyweight
Johnny Fisher -1600 Harry Armstrong +900 Heavyweight
Campbell Hatton Tom Ansell Super lightweight


There’s not much doubt about who should win this fight. Joshua is, by all measures, a better fighter than Helenius. Helenius also is chinny, easily hit and fairly slow, even for a heavyweight. When on his game, Joshua can box circles around almost every heavyweight on the planet. The problem is, Joshua sometimes gets a bit ahead of himself and gets caught. It happened against Ruiz, which means it could happen against Helenius.

Still, this should be fairly easy work for Joshua. The bigger question is whether Joshua can look more impressive than he did against Franklin and increase the hype for a showdown with Wilder or Fury down the road. Pick: Anthony Joshua via TKO3

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