- What: Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius
- When: Saturday, August 12th
- Where: O2 Arena, London, England
It may not be a title fight, but Saturday's heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Robert Helenius should be highly entertaining. Both guys have something to prove after Joshua's rematch with Dillian Whyte was scrapped, with Helenius quickly stepping up to the plate to be the Brit's replacement. Whyte's failed drug test left AJ scrambling to find an opponent but just four days prior to the bout, the Finland native said he was ready to roll. This will be a 12-round fight at O2 Arena in London, Joshua's stomping grounds. Below, find the Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius picks.
Joshua vs Helenius Odds
As you can see, Joshua is a gigantic favorite. He's sitting at -2000 odds at BetOnline for an implied win probability of 95.24%. Helenius comes back at +1000 and has been given a mere 9% chance of coming out victorious. These two have never stepped in the ring together, but they were sparring partners at one point. There's nothing but respect between AJ and Helenius.
Big Fight For Joshua
Joshua is a two-time world heavyweight champion, but his career has hit a stagnant point. He's lost two out of his last three fights to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk and desperately needs a statement victory in order to get back to the top of the mountain. Those three bouts have taken place across the last 2.5 years. Although fighting Whyte was the plan, AJ couldn't help but take Helenius's offer last minute, a good friend who he once trained with.
Last time out, Joshua moved to 25-3 in his career with a 12-round win in April at this exact same venue against American Jermaine Franklin. 22 of his wins have come by knockout, with his only other loss coming against Mexican-American Andy Ruiz Jr.
After Joshua's second straight defeat to Usyk, he decided to change trainers and hire Derrick James with the hopes of turning his fortunes around. James trains some of the best in the sport, including Ryan Garcia, Errol Spence Jr, and Jermell Charlo, among others. Those are some great fighters for Joshua to be around on a regular basis.
It's important to note that Helenius has been Deontay Wilder's sparring partner, which gives Joshua a preview into what a clash with Wilder could look like if he can win this one. But, AJ cannot take Helenius for granted either because he is a true warrior and boasts no shortage of experience.
Last Chance For Glory For Helenius
At 39, there aren't many chances left for Helenius to solidify himself as one of the best heavyweights around. The Nordic Nightmare owns a 32-4 record in his long career, knocking out 21 of his opponents. Although he's never been a world champ, this is an opportunity to prove his worth against a very tough fighter in Joshua.
Perhaps the craziest part of Helenius taking this bout is that he literally fought last weekend in Finland, knocking out Mika Mielonen in the third round. However, that didn't stop Helenius from jumping at the opportunity to take on AJ. A true warrior for even approaching the Brit. Perhaps fatigue could set in on Saturday, though.
Helenius is a very powerful fighter and will be looking to catch AJ off guard with a big punch. If he pulls off the unthinkable here, it would mean a career-high payday. That being said, Helenius was put on the canvas last October by Wilder at the Barclays Center in New York City, a similar boxer to Joshua.
All odds are against the Finnish here. That may also play in his favor however because he truly has nothing to lose. Knowing this is likely his final bout against a top-tier opposition, expect Helenius to leave everything in that ring, win or lose.
Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius picks
The moneyline obviously offers zero value, which means a specific bet is probably the best play. The reality is Joshua is the better fighter and he comes in very fresh. Helenius fought in Finland only a week ago then had to fly over to London. There will be some fatigue. I do believe that. Take the Englishman to win via knockout on Saturday.
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