Anthony Joshua returns to the ring against late substitute Robert Helenius in what should be his last stop before a mega fight with Deontay Wilder, and the former champion faces off against the former contender this weekend from the O2 Arena in London.
Joshua was expecting former rival Dillian Whyte, but a failed drug test has opened the doors for Helenius to once again revive his career on the big stage.
It’s going to be a tall order as boxing odds have Joshua a commanding favorite at -1,600 with Helenius coming back as a +850 underdog.
Here are my boxing betting picks for Joshua vs. Helenius this weekend in London.
Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius odds
|Method of victory||Anthony Joshua||Robert Helenius|
|Win by KO/TKO||-390||+1,200|
|Win by points or decision||+460||+2,600|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel as of August 9, 2023.
Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius betting predictions
Picks made on August 9. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
Not intended for use in MA.
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Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius betting preview
Anthony Joshua’s new opponent after Dillian Whyte is former contender Robert Helenius, who is still dangerous even in his diminished state.
Whether it was Whyte or Helenius, this fight is likely to feature a more dynamic Joshua after having some time to gel with new trainer Derrick James. In his last fight, Joshua delivered a workmanlike performance against Jermaine Franklin, easily winning against an opponent who is hard to look good against.
With Whyte no longer in play, Joshua still needs to demonstrate that he’s ready for a big fight. At his best, Joshua is a two-fisted killer who can move his feet as fast as his hands and has an arsenal of weapons he can use to end a fight. His physical prowess isn’t in question, but a rapid decline in his confidence and mental stability has led many to believe the former two-time champion is at the end of his rope at 33.
Helenius is coming in late, but he isn’t being commanded off the couch for a payday. The Nordic Nightmare was just in action days ago, defeating Mika Mielonen via third-round knockout. Though Helenius is long removed from his 2013 peak, and not too far removed from his first-round KO loss to Wilder last year, he’s still a serviceable veteran.
The last time Joshua had an opponent swap this close to a fight, Andy Ruiz took his undefeated record, heavyweight title, and his heart. This is a major opportunity for Joshua to perform and make up for the lost time.
If he isn’t ready for the task or is overlooking Helenius for a rumored super fight with Wilder, then Helenius might have another upset on his resume.
Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius boxing prediction and best bet
Prediction: Anthony Joshua ML
I know there’s been a lot of talks that Joshua is declining, but I’m in the minority who believes he can still get back to the top of the mountain.
Losing two fights to Oleksandr Usyk is not a bad thing, especially when Joshua was competitive in both. He hasn’t fallen off so hard that he can be troubled by anything less than the very best, and Helenius is far from that.
We should expect Joshua to implement a more aggressive style than he did with Franklin, especially with a hittable opponent such as Helenius. While he won’t charge into danger, he should be motivated to blast Helenius out and end what has been a troublesome promotion.
This is Joshua’s fight to lose. He’s the pick, but the pick isn’t a -1,400 moneyline.
Prediction: Anthony Joshua moneyline (-1,600 at DraftKings)
Best bet: Anthony Joshua to win in Rounds 1-3
Joshua hasn’t scored an early stoppage since Eric Molina in 2016, and all three of his knockouts during that span have come beyond the seventh round. With Helenius basically walking out of the ring and onto a plane to face him, Joshua has a chance for an early exit.
Helenius has been stopped three times in four defeats by opponents with less explosiveness and skill than Joshua. I expect Joshua to be in top shape and not want to prolong this fight longer than it has to, stopping the chinny Helenius inside three rounds.
Prediction: Anthony Joshua to win in Rounds 1-3 (+330 at DraftKings)