Anthony Joshua remained on course to face Deontay Wilder following his seventh-round knockout victory over Robert Helenius at the O2 Arena in London.
Despite a more mature performance from the AJ old, which featured patience, he returned to knockout ways securing his first stoppage since December 2020.
However, immediately post-fight following Joshua’s victory over Helenius, all attention and questions turned to the possibility of the former two-time unified world heavyweight champion facing off against Wilder.
A tentative speculated date has surfaced of January 13th. It will take place in Saudi Arabia, with Saudi promotional entity Skill Challenge Entertainment arriving in London on Friday and being present ringside on Saturday. The aim of their presence which promoter Eddie Hearn eluded to, was to bring the negotiations between all parties to a close and sign for the fight with Wilder.
Speaking post-fight following his win over Helenius, Joshua warmed to the prospect of him fighting his American rival in Wilder.
“Roll on,” he said. “There’s no worry to me when it is. I’m just happy we can get the fight going, and I think people appreciate that.
“I’m doing my best to keep heavyweight boxing on the map.”
Joshua refused to draw comparisons between his performance on Saturday and Wilder’s performance and result against Helenius. Last October, Wilder produced a one-punch knockout of Helenius in the opening round of their contest. The results for Wilder came following back-to-back defeats against Tyson Fury.
“Wilder’s got a good right hand, I’ve got a good right hand, but [we’re] both completely separate fighters,” he said. "[For me there was] a switch of opponent. Switch of gameplan, I just followed it as best I could and got the victory in the seventh round.”
Joshua insisted he did not underrate Helenius. “His reputation was damaged due to the fact that he was knocked out in a round, but he’s a very good operator minus that,” Joshua said.
“We’re trying to shut each other’s advances down,” he explained of their bout on Saturday. “It’s a game of chess. When you’re playing, it’s interesting. It’s a thinking man’s sport.
“Why am I going to go in there and trade from round one? Break him down.
“Knockouts are good, of course,” Joshua continued. “It’s not so much the knockout; it’s just the ring activity which gives me confidence; that’s what’s important.”
However, despite all parties seemingly being on the same page regarding what the future holds, Joshua is not taking anything for granted and is now focused solely on Deontay Wilder and wanting to be the guy “that fought everyone.”
“I believe that for years I’ve played my part in bringing entertainment to heavyweight boxing. I want to be remembered as the guy that fought everyone.”
“We’ve just got to hope the other team (Wilder) play ball as well,” Joshua said.
“I’m just focused on smashing his head in now. And that’s it.”