Anthony Joshua has set his sights on a heavyweight showdown with big-hitting Deontay Wilder early next year after displaying his own explosive punching against Robert Helenius.
Joshua stopped last-minute opponent Helenius with a fearsome right hand in the seventh round at London’s O2 on Saturday, achieving his first knockout since 2020.
That victory rubber-stamped the Briton’s claims of taking on American Wilder next, with a Saudi delegation in town this weekend to discuss staging the fight in January or February.
“It is not easy to get these fights over the line but I have got full trust in my team,” said Joshua.
“They’ve taken me a long way to become unified two-time heavyweight champion of the world. We collected belt after belt, defended them multiple times, done great business, stadium fights, fought in America, Saudi.
“My team are amazing so I put all my faith in them to deliver. We’ve just got to hope the other team play ball.”
Joshua was bullish about his status in the sport despite being in the process of rebuilding his reputation following consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk, most recently last year.
“I think people appreciate that I am doing my best to keep heavyweight boxing on the map,” he added.
“We’re carrying heavyweight boxing. I have believed that for years I have played my part in bringing entertainment to heavyweight boxing.
“We’ll look back in years to come and think, ‘look at that era, that guy fought everyone,’ and that’s what is important. It is about fighting the best and giving your best.”
The 33-year-old also questioned why some spectators in London jeered him during the win over Helenius, who took the fight after original opponent Dillian Whyte was ruled out.
“Are they booing me or booing Helenius? That is the question,” Joshua said.
“I don’t think they understand it is competitive boxing. We are trying to shut each other’s passes down. Why am I going to go in there and trade [punches] from round one?
“I am just happy to get the win because I always know after one win it can lead onto something spectacular and I believe we’re onto something big.”