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Anthony Joshua comes out swinging after knocking out Robert Helenius in round seven, saying 'people need to leave me alone' as he targets Deontay Wilder 'to carry this heavyweight division'

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Anthony Joshua comes out swinging after knocking out Robert Helenius, saying ‘people need to leave me alone’ – and insists he’s ‘carrying this heavyweight division’ with Deontay Wilder up next

  • Anthony Joshua defeated Robert Helenius in a seventh round knockout
  • Fans vented frustration at the bout with boos ringing around London’s O2 Arena
  • Joshua was quick to silence the critics and defended his approach in the clash 

Anthony Joshua acted quickly to silence any critics calling his seventh round knockout of Robert Helenius underwhelming.  

Joshua had been set to face fellow British heavyweight Dillian Whyte until his rival had to be pulled from the show last weekend when ‘adverse analytical findings’ were detected in his doping test.

The Finnish veteran subsequently stepped in and frustrated the two-time world champion to the point where boos and jeers rang around the 02 Arena in London. 

But after successfully dispatching his opponent, and registering his second successive victory on his comeback trail, Joshua was keen to rubbish criticism stemming from the manner of his win.  

‘People need to leave me alone, this is my time in the ring,’ he said post fight. ‘Let me keep doing what I want to do. Helenius, I told him to come again. I think he can cause people a lot of problems. 

Joshua celebrates the win as he stays on track for a future fight with Deontay Wilder

Joshua celebrates the win as he stays on track for a future fight with Deontay Wilder 

Anthony Joshua beat Robert Helenius after knocking him out in the seventh round of the bout

Anthony Joshua beat Robert Helenius after knocking him out in the seventh round of the bout 

Deontay Wilder secured a first round knockout victory against Helenius in October last year

Deontay Wilder secured a first round knockout victory against Helenius in October last year

‘I don’t want to say too much. I want to see you [the fans] again two more times this year. Thanks to Eddie [Hearn].’

Following Joshua’s brutal knockout there was brief concern over Helenius, who remained motionless, but he was able to get back up to his feet before the two fighters touched gloves.

Joshua’s win has reignited talk of a marquee fight next time up, with Hearn even confirming that the goal is to follow Saturday night’s win with a clash against power-hitter Deontay Wilder.    

‘It’s a fickle sport, you’ve got to be real about this industry and not get caught up. I’ve done my job,’ he said.

On Helenius, he said: ‘The guy has talent. I had to figure him out. I think he can cause a lot of people problems but I don’t want to say too much. Hopefully I see you again. I need to stay busy.’

When asked about the upcoming fight with Wilder, he quipped: ‘I’ve got a back issue. My back is gone because I have to carry this heavyweight division to the top.’