Following the cancellation of Anthony Joshua’s scheduled bout against British boxer Dillian Whyte on August 12 at the 02 Arena, a new contender has emerged. Joshua will now step into the ring to face Robert Helenius, a seasoned 39-year-old fighter, as Whyte’s replacement.
The change in opponent came about due to Whyte’s positive test for a banned substance, which prompted the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) to alert Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions, and the British Boxing Board of Control. Consequently, the anticipated showdown between Joshua and Whyte had to be called off, pending a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
Matchroom conveyed the situation through an official statement posted on their Twitter account:
“Today, VADA formally notified Matchroom, along with the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control, of Dillian Whyte’s adverse analytical findings under the random anti-doping protocol. As a result of this development, the scheduled fight will not proceed, and a thorough inquiry will be undertaken. Additional updates regarding the event are forthcoming.”
Speaking with Sky Sports, Anthony Joshua voiced his readiness to take on the challenge presented by Robert Helenius:
“While unexpected, I hold Robert Helenius in high regard and extend my respect to any individual who steps into the ring, be it a man or woman. My focus remains unwavering on securing victory. Although my trajectory charts a course towards greater horizons, my immediate focus rests on the upcoming checkpoint: Saturday night’s bout. Let the superior contender prevail.”
On the other side, Robert Helenius expressed his eagerness for the impending contest:
“The prospect of facing Anthony Joshua on August 12 ignites my enthusiasm. A true Viking, I stand ready to confront any trial with resolute determination. This opportunity shall not elude my grasp, as I am committed to maximizing its potential.”
With this sudden shift in the matchup, fight enthusiasts are now eagerly anticipating the collision between Anthony Joshua and Robert Helenius, as both fighters bring their unwavering determination to the squared circle on August 12.