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'That was a big bang' - Robert Helenius breaks silence on loss at Joshua vs Helenius bout

Robert Helenius stepped up as a late replacement opponent for Anthony Joshua in London, displaying remarkable courage. Joshua’s willingness to embrace this last-minute change, despite past setbacks, and Helenius’ determination to face the two-time champion with only six days’ notice, rescued an otherwise precarious event.

Joshua vs Helenius main event initially played out cautiously, with Joshua relying on his jab and Helenius not pushing aggressively. In the seventh round, Joshua unleashed a powerful right hand, swiftly concluding the match. According to a translated excerpt from Finnish source Yle Urheilu, Helenius mentioned a lack of memory regarding the impact of the blow, attributing it to his dwindling stamina. He expressed disappointment at the loss and the emotional toll it took.

“That was a big bang. I don’t remember the impact, my fitness was running out at that point. Of course it hurts, the heart the most. I would have really liked to win this match. We’ll see what comes of this.”

Despite the conclusive outcome of Joshua vs Helenius, Helenius believed he was making progress in the bout. Some of his shots caused Joshua’s nose to bleed and resulted in minor swelling around his eye. Helenius reflected on missed opportunities to fully exploit Joshua’s vulnerabilities, particularly with his left straights.

“I hit him well with left straights, and I noticed that he was a bit embarrassed by it. Should have just let the right one go. I hurt him many times and felt like I had the match in hand at one point.

“I still feel that if I had been given 12 weeks for that match, the end result would not have been like that. It would have been the other way around.

“I didn’t have the condition for 12 sets here. The better one won this time, that’s all … Even though I lost today, this left me with a good feeling. I will not comment on whether the career will continue.”

Helenius was convinced that a lengthier preparation period could have led to a different outcome of the Joshua vs Helenius bout, emphasizing that he lacked the conditioning for a full-length match. While he acknowledged the loss, he expressed a sense of contentment and refrained from commenting on his future in the sport.

At 39 years old and with recent significant losses, Helenius’ future in the heavyweight division appears uncertain. Meanwhile, Joshua’s victory brings him a step closer to a potential clash with Deontay Wilder, potentially scheduled for January.

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