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'He's Cool' - Says Anthony Joshua about Robert Helenius after the Joshua vs Helenius Showdown

After regaining consciousness, Robert Helenius found himself facing Anthony Joshua, the man who’d just knocked him out. Gratefully, Joshua thanked Helenius for ensuring the Joshua vs Helenius show went on.

Remarkably, this was the second time in three bouts where a premier heavyweight knocked Helenius out, only to offer immediate appreciation and concern. Deontay Wilder, having trained with Helenius before, delivered a similar knockout in October of 2022. Beyond the boxing ring, they’d forged a friendship, and after losing to Tyson Fury, Wilder viewed the fight against Helenius both as a comeback and a way to assist him financially, despite the physical cost of the sport.

Wilder later stressed the importance of respecting every fighter, acknowledging the latent risks and injuries they could face in the long run. Following the knockout, Helenius contemplated ending his boxing career. Speaking to The Independent’s Alex Pattle, Helenius revealed he distanced himself from the sport for six months, focusing on powerlifting and minimizing his social media presence.

Recalling his previous knockouts, Helenius shared his internal battle between the love for the adrenaline in boxing and concerns about potential long-term damage. However, he did make a return, defeating Mika Mielonen in the third round at the historic Olavinlinna. Not long after this victory, he was approached to fight Anthony Joshua, given Dillian Whyte’s test complications.

Joshua, like Wilder, had previously sparred with Helenius but lacked the deep bond Wilder had with him. Helenius was viewed as a reputable opponent with minimal threat to bigger aspirations. Joshua’s choice to fight Helenius was also influenced by financial considerations and the welfare of undercard fighters dependent on the event.

The boxing community, recalling Joshua’s past matches, anticipated a knockout. True to the script, Joshua defeated Helenius with a potent right hand. Gratefully, post-fight, Joshua acknowledged Helenius’s role in ensuring the event’s success.

Joshua expressed respect for Helenius after the Joshua vs Helenius bout, describing him as one of the few heavyweights he genuinely admired. For Helenius, this match was a testament to his resilience and commitment. As he frequently mentioned to reporters, he believed that no one remembers those who don’t take risks.

“I said you’re very talented, and you could cause a lot of people some problems. So, continue, credit to you, and I appreciate you for helping save the show. It means a lot for me to box tonight, and Helenius played a big part in that, so I just gave him a pat on the back. Even though he wasn’t successful in the ring, he’s a massive success in saving this event,” Joshua said at the post-fight press conference, a photo of Helenius on the promotional step-and-repeat peering over his shoulder.

“He’s a good man,” Joshua added. “I don’t really like many heavyweight boxers, but he’s cool.”

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