Anthony Joshua demonstrated his laser focus on Robert Helenius during a heated weigh-in ahead of their fight, despite the potential bout with Deontay Wilder looming in the background. Joshua and Helenius had an intense staredown at Westfields in Shepherds Bush after weighing in just shy of 18 stone each. Helenius was a last-minute replacement for Dillian Whyte after Whyte failed a drugs test, and he aims to disrupt Joshua’s plans.
While talks continue between Joshua’s camp and Wilder’s team for a future clash, Joshua’s focus is solely on the task at hand against Helenius. He understands that he cannot afford to let comparisons with Wilder distract him if he wants to secure a future fight with the former world heavyweight champion. Joshua remains confident and stated, “This is my own fight with Helenius, no-one else’s. I can’t fail.”
Joshua’s win-at-all-costs mindset has been evident throughout his career, although it did not prevent a shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 and consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk. However, a laboured victory against Jermaine Franklin earlier this year got Joshua back on track. Despite the setbacks in his preparation for the Helenius fight, Joshua’s fiery exchange with his opponent at the weigh-in showed his determination.
Victory over Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 catapulted Joshua to the top of the sport, and he remains confident that he will have another shot at a world title. He understands that unifying the belts is a challenging task, but he believes he can be a champion again. Joshua is comfortable in his own skin and acknowledges the importance of not letting boxing define him as a person.
As Joshua prepares for his fight against Helenius at the O2 Arena, he remains focused on the task at hand. He understands the building process required to regain his status as a world champion and is willing to put in the work. The ultimate goal is to unify the belts and fight in different arenas, with the hope of eventually returning to a stadium for a monumental bout. Joshua knows that to regain the love and credibility of the boxing world, he must continue to be a winner. However, he also understands the importance of having an identity beyond boxing and is determined to have his own personal brand that goes beyond his achievements in the ring.