The former two-time heavyweight champion made up for an average display throughout six rounds when he stopped Helenius in the seventh in their fight at The O2 arena on Saturday night. Joshua was originally set to meet familiar foe Dillian Whyte at the event but their rematch was cancelled when Whyte failed a pre-fight drug test/
Saudi Arabia officials were in attendance at Joshua’s fight against Helenius as they look to host a big-money fight between ‘AJ’ and Wilder in January. Both Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that Wilder will be next as ‘AJ’ said: “It sounds like it [will be next]. I’m just happy we’re getting this fight underway, potentially soon.
“It does great for boxing, we’ll look back in years to come and think ‘Wow look at that era, that guy fought everyone’. That’s what’s important these days, not protecting your 0 or worrying about anything. Just fighting the best and giving it your best. It’s not easy to get these big fights over the line but I’ve got trust in my team.
“They’ve taken me a long way, collecting four of the five major belts and becoming unified two-time heavyweight champion of the world. We’ve done great business, I’ve fought in America and Saudi. My team are amazing and I put all of my faith in them to deliver, we’ve just got to hope the other team play ball as well.
Hearn said of the fight: “I think he can beat Deontay Wilder comfortably but he can also get beat by Wilder. The good thing was he got seven rounds in against a tall opponent. It’s difficult to replicate the power of Wilder but I’ve always felt that ‘AJ’ can outbox Wilder. I would like to see him box Wilder and try to break him down.”
“You’re not going to really see the best of ‘AJ’ in fights against [Jermaine] Franklin and Helenius. It’s why he chose Dillian Whyte, because it was a fight he wanted and could get up for. We know that the Wilder fight would probably land in January, but he’s not just putting all of his hopes on that fight. Everything we’re hearing from every side is that fight is going ahead.”