Anthony Joshua vows to continue fighting against drugs in boxing after Dillian Whyte’s failed test forced him to hastily arrange a bout against Robert Helenius
- Anthony Joshua will fight Robert Helenius on Saturday in place of Dillian Whyte
- His rematch against Whyte was cancelled after adverse findings in drugs test
- Finnish heavyweight was knocked out by Deontay Wilder two fights ago
Then he added: ‘Now the first thing is to find another opponent for April 12 at the 02.
‘Boxing needs us to put on a good show. ‘
As Robert Helenius was wheeled out as Whyte’s replacement the Nordic Nightmare aligned himself alongside AJ and Fast Eddie in denouncing the doping contagion afflicting their sport.
Heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Robert Helenius face off in London on Wednesday
Joshua claimed that Whyte is now ‘tarnished’ but hoped that his compatriot do anything deliberately
Eddie Hearn was quick to wheel in Helenius as a new opponent for Joshua in his upcoming bout
Joshua said: ‘Winning titles inside the ring is hard but the fight for boxing outside the ring is even harder.
‘I hope Dillian did not do anything deliberately but he is tarnished now. I would never risk that happening to me. Boxing is dangerous enough without drugs. ‘
Helenius, selected from the many heavyweights volunteering to save Saturday’s show, has agreed to Joshua’s demands for additional testing of him as he comes off an easy home win last weekend.
The 6th 9in, 39-year-old Finn said: ‘No problem for me but there is a problem in boxing.
‘We need proper regulation. Either we all do it or everyone who does gets a long ban.
‘I’ve seen what’s happening here as well as in the past with people like Canelo (Alvarez) and (Tyson) Fury.
‘If I was caught like that in Finland I would never get my license back. I would be lynched for life.
‘But that won’t happen to me. The others can do what they like. I don’t care. I don’t need to cheat. My strength comes from the Viking blood in my body’
Joshua, who more than once during his two reigns as world champion was accused of taking drugs by opponents who were pulled out of fights against him after themselves failing tests for performance enhancing substances, echoed Helenius when saying: ‘Some people look at my physique and assume the worst.
‘But the truth is that I was born with this God-given strength and power.’
Both boxers and Hearn joined the call for co-ordinated drugs control.
Joshua (left) had been training to fight Whyte, but their bout was cancelled after a pre-fight drugs test returned an adverse analytical finding
39-year-old Finnish fighter Helenius has agreed to Joshua’s demands for additional testing
The promoter reveals: ‘It is difficult to enforce central control with so many bodies and authorities engaged in boxing but we are looking at doing our part by insisting that every fighter who joins our Matchroom stable signs up for compulsory VADA testing year round.
‘The legal demands for confidentiality are a problem but we need to establish total transparency on all test results as soon as possible. ‘
All this said, a better fight between Joshua and the veteran substitute than many are expecting would do no harm to this beleaguered old game, either.
Joshua v Helenius will be televised live this Saturday night on DAZN by regular subscription