British-Nigerian former heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua has knocked out his challenger, Robert Helenius in the seventh round at London’s O2 Arena, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
Helenius was last minute replacement for Dilian Whyte, after he was said to have taken performance enhancing drugs.
The Nigerian-Briton was sluggish in the previous rounds but he produced a devastating punch in the seventh to earn his first knockout victory since December 2020, when he stopped Kubrat Pulev.
Joshua, 33, made up for a lacklustre display with the brutal seventh round knockout that served as a reminder that the two-time world heavyweight champion still has serious punching power.
Helenius was the more aggressive fighter in the first round, although the 39-year-old Finn did not land any damaging punches, as Joshua opted for a cautious approach against his marginally taller opponent.
Joshua improved two minutes into the second round as he threw a combination of punches which forced Helenius back against the ropes.
The third round was also a dull affair and the crowd at London’s 02 Arena began to jeer and whistle the lack of meaningful action, but Joshua landed one big blow which at least excited the spectators into an encouraging roar.
Both boxers raised the intensity a little in the fourth round and Joshua landed punches that caused blood to drop out of Helenius’s nose.
The next two rounds followed in the same pattern, with Joshua dominating but not seriously hurting Helenius, who was a late replacement for Dilian Whyte, who had failed a dope test.
Joshua then made amends by landing a huge right hand that knocked out Helenius before he even hit the mat and the fight was over in the seventh round.
The win improved Joshua’s record to 26 wins, 23 of them via knockout, and three losses in 29 fights.
Helenius has now lost five times and won 32 (21 by knockout) of 37 fights in his long career.