Furious fans label Anthony Joshua's match-up with Robert Helenius as 'PATHETIC', as Finnish heavyweight steps in to replace Dillian Whyte for Saturday's bout

Furious fans label Anthony Joshua’s match-up with Robert Helenius as ‘PATHETIC’, as Finnish heavyweight steps in to replace Dillian Whyte for Saturday’s bout

  • Anthony Joshua will fight Robert Helenius on Saturday in place of Dillian Whyte 
  • Joshua’s rematch against Whyte was cancelled for adverse findings in drugs test 
  • However, fans have voiced their displeasure at the match-up with Helenius 

Fans on social media have labelled Anthony Joshua‘s fight with Robert Helenius as ‘pathetic’ after the Finnish boxer was called upon as a late replacement.

Joshua had been scheduled for a highly-anticipated rematch with fellow Brit Dillian Whyte but that was cancelled after ‘Bodysnatcher’ returned ‘adverse analytical findings’ in a pre-fight drugs test.

The news, which broke on Saturday, threatened to ruin Saturday’s event at at London’s O2 Arena unless a replacement was quickly sought out. 

And, on Monday morning, it was confirmed that Helenius – who fought just three days ago – will step in on late notice to face ‘AJ’. 

The uninpsiring announcment led promoter Eddie Hearn to confirm that event would no longer be broadcast on pay-per-view, but some fans were still unhappy with the decision.

Robert Helenius has been revealed as Anthony Joshua's replacement opponent

Robert Helenius has been revealed as Anthony Joshua’s replacement opponent 

Joshua (left) had been training to fight Dillian Whyte (right), but their bout was cancelled after a pre-fight drugs test returned an adverse analytical finding

Joshua (left) had been training to fight Dillian Whyte (right), but their bout was cancelled after a pre-fight drugs test returned an adverse analytical finding 

Taking to social media, one fan wrote: ‘Pathetic. Imagine paying for tickets, travel, and hotel only to be served up this nonsense. Refunds should be given. Boxing has been on a downward trajectory and it continues on that journey. @EddieHearn et al should be embarrassed.’

‘Another dead rubber, I won’t be watching. He’s just going into the ring to get knocked out and get a pay day. How can you seriously expect to win when you fought 3 days ago?’, one fans lamented.

‘AJ is the biggest fraud in boxing history,’ one used claimed, while another wrote ‘So disappointed. Pathetic,’ about the match-up.

‘Right, now take it off PPV @EddieHearn’, a fan demanded. Another used brutally claimed: ‘This sport is a J O K E’.

The news that Whyte had returned ‘adverse findings’ in his drug test shocked the boxing world on Saturday and left Matchroom in a difficult situation. 

The promotion turned to Finnish boxer Helenius who won by third-round TKO win over Mika Mielonen three days ago. 

Fans on social media were quick to voice their unhappiness with Joshua's match-up

Fans on social media were quick to voice their unhappiness with Joshua’s match-up

Eddie Hearn has insisted it is a 'dangerous fight' for AJ despite Helenius' brutal first-round KO at the hands of Deontay Wilder last year

Eddie Hearn has insisted it is a ‘dangerous fight’ for AJ despite Helenius’ brutal first-round KO at the hands of Deontay Wilder last year

The 6ft 6in heavyweight has a record of 32 wins with defeats to Gerald Washington, Whyte and Johann Duhaupas and Deontay Wilder.

‘I am a true Viking that is willing to face any challenge at a moment’s notice,’ the 39-year-old Helenius said.

‘This is not an opportunity I was going to let slip away. I plan to make the most of it.’

‘This wasn’t in the script,’ Joshua said of his new opponent. ‘I am laser focused on the win. I can make steps forward to bigger and better things but the roadmap has a checkpoint – Saturday night.’