On Saturday, Anthony Joshua will meet Robert Helenius in London. The Finnish boxer stepped in at the last minute to replace Dillian Whyte, who was injured.
The heavyweight fight between two British fighters was supposed to happen last weekend, but it was canceled after Whyte’s doping test showed “adverse analytical findings.” Whyte has promised to clear his name.
Helenius, who is 39, fought in his home country on Saturday, but he has accepted the challenge to fight the former two-time world heavyweight champion.
“This was not in the script,” said Joshua. "I respect Helenius, and I respect anyone, man or female, who steps into the ring.
“I’m totally focused on winning. I can take steps toward bigger and better things, but the plan has a checkpoint: Saturday night. May the best person win.”
Helenius, who had 32 wins and four losses in 36 professional fights, was knocked out in the first round by Deontay Wilder in October.
Helenius said, “I’m a real Viking who’s ready to face any challenge at any time.”
“I was not going to let this chance go by. I plan to take advantage of it!”