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Anthony Joshua takes a swig of Conor McGregor's pint of stout after securing knockout win over Robert Helenius

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Anthony Joshua takes a swig of Conor McGregor’s pint of stout after securing knockout win over Robert Helenius

Anthony Joshua took a sip of Conor McGregor‘s pint after his victory at the O2 on Saturday night, but then ignored the UFC legend as he walked away.

It came after Joshua defeated Robert Helenius, who stepped in at short notice as a replacement for Dillian Whyte after a failed drugs test, by seventh round knockout.

McGregor was seen in the ring after the fight, and held his pint to a dazed-looking Joshua’s lips.

The boxer gladly took a sip, but then ignored McGregor as he turned and walked out of the ring.

He later replied to embrace Helenius, who was given oxygen by medics after a chastening fight.

Anthony Joshua took a sip of Conor McGregor's pint after his win over Robert Helenius on Saturday

Anthony Joshua took a sip of Conor McGregor’s pint after his win over Robert Helenius on Saturday

The two-time heavyweight world champion knocked out his Finnish opponent in the seventh round

The two-time heavyweight world champion knocked out his Finnish opponent in the seventh round

While it may not have been a vintage display from Joshua, the win was an important one as he claimed a first knockout victory since 2020.

It was just the fourth time Helenius had been knocked out in 37 fights, but some critics still felt Joshua boxed cautiously.

The two-time heavyweight champion told DAZN after the victory: ‘People need to leave me alone, this is my time in the ring. 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. I don’t want to say too much. I want to see you again two more times this year.’

His promotor Eddie Hearn added on BBC 5 Live: ‘The guy [Helenius] is six foot eight, he can punch a bit, AJ doesn’t want to take any chances. 

‘This is the AJ you’re going to see now, no chances. There’s a lot on the line. The late replacement was difficult, but I’m just happy he’s delivered the knockout of the year.’

On the prospect of a fight against Deontay Wilder later this year, Hearn added: ‘We hope it’s imminent. That’s why he wanted the Dillian Whyte fight, it’s hard for him to get up to fights like this. 

‘If he hits Wilder on the chin then it’s over. This is about Anthony Joshua now, it’s not about pleasing others. He’s given everything to British boxing.’

Joshua has now won back-to-back fights for the first time since losing his heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk

Joshua has now won back-to-back fights for the first time since losing his heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he hoped a fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder (pictured) was 'imminent'

Promoter Eddie Hearn said he hoped a fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder (pictured) was ‘imminent’