Robert Helenius To Fight In January, Talks Loss To Anthony Joshua
By Dan Ambrose: Heavyweight Robert Helenius says he’ll be returning to the ring to fight in January following his seventh round knockout loss to Anthony Joshua last Saturday night in London.
In hindsight, Helenius would have better off if it’s put it on Joshua with an all-out assault in the first round because that would have given him his best chance of winning.
Helenius started strong in the first ten seconds, attacking Joshua with combination and backing him up against the ropes.
Helenius (32-5, 21 KOs) wishes he’d had more training time to prepare for the fight with the former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs), as he took the fight on one week’s notice, and hadn’t trained hard for his bout a week earlier against 41-year-old Mika Mielonen in Finland.
The hard-hitting 39-year-old Helenius says he felt tired after six rounds against Joshua and didn’t have the energy to win.
It’s possible that Helenius wouldn’t have been offered the fight against AJ if he’d gone through a hard ten-week camp because the last thing Joshua’ss promoters would want is an opponent that was in top shape.
Helenius isn’t saying who his next opponent will be in January, but it makes sense for it to be a lower-level guy because he’s suffered two bad knockouts against Joshua & Deontay Wilder in less than a year.
Helenius disappointed about loss
“I’m a little heartbroken about that fight, but what could I do with that short notice? I think I would have done better with a better training camp behind me,” said Robert Helenius to Fight Hub TV, talking about his loss to Anthony Joshua.
“At first, I was, ‘Hell, no,’ but I thought about it for five to ten minutes, and I was like, ‘Let’s do this.” This was my opportunity to do this,” said Helenius about the thoughts that went through his head when he was offered the fight with Joshua on one week’s notice.
“We had an okay camp, but the opponent [Mika Mielonen] in Finland wasn’t like on any world stage or in the vicinity of Anthony Joshua. So, we didn’t train for twelve rounds of hardcore boxing.
“We took that fight to see if I had the motivation to keep on training and doing this job. The feeling I got when I was offered the Joshua fight, it was incredible and scary at the same time.
“I got a good feeling after the fight, even though I got knocked out. In those rounds that I had the conditioning to do well, I did well. With a little more practice and thinking, I think I would do even better. So, I have a couple of fights in me still.
“It’s a crazy difference because it was an opponent from Finland [41-year-old Mielonen], and he wasn’t even a Finnish champion. He just had six fights behind him. We took that fight just to feel out how I feel about boxing still, and it was in the locker room after the [Mielonen] fight, I still had my wraps,” Helenius said.
Not enough training time
“I was pouring sweat after the fight, and my manager told me like, ‘I need to talk to you.’ It’s like, ‘Come over here, come over here. That nobody listens, and he told me, ‘Yeah, they offered a fight against Joshua, and I was like, ‘What, are you serious? No, it can’t be. I haven’t even had time to think about the last fight I just had five minutes ago. What is this crazy s**t?’” said Helenius.
“I thought about it. ‘Just give me like five or ten minutes. I need to get the information through my brain and think about it a little bit.’ And after that, I thought about it. ‘Let’s do this. This could be my real big opportunity,’ but yeah, now afterward, I feel a little bit sorry that I didn’t train boxing for a longer time.
“Against Mielonen, I would have been in a better shape and could have gone all rounds with him. So I felt I felt good in the [Joshua] fight in the first six rounds, I think, but after that, the reaction time and everything goes down.
“I just had like four round sparring in the training camp. Of course, for two weeks, we did it three times a week, four to five rounds sparring sessions. So it wasn’t like I was conditionally prepared to concentrate 12 rounds at that level of fighting.
“So I just feel sorry that I didn’t do the proper training camp that I thought I did. Of course, for that fight in Finland, it was proper, but not at that level that I had the box one week after.
“It’s hard to say, and it’s a little bit too early. I haven’t even thought about that yet, but I think it would be an interesting fight,” said Helenius when asked about his thoughts on a fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
“Of course, against Wilder in the first round, it was an accident shot for me. I didn’t think he could fight on his back foot, and he trained for that. So he’s also adapting boxer, so he’s really good.
“I don’t know, actually. That’s an interesting question. I haven’t thought about it, but it would be a very successful fight for both.
“I think because we didn’t have any bad blood before. At the weigh-in when I had the stare-down after the weigh-in, I didn’t stop staring. He stopped. That’s one of the things I do. I try to see if they are serious and how they feel. I think he got provoked, and he asked me if I had a problem.
“‘Do you want to go now? Do you want to go now?’ I don’t know if he tried to intimidate me or something, but for me, it was pretty funny that I got under his skin. Of course, I have nothing but respect for him. He’s a brilliant fighter. I only have good things to say about him. I have no bad blood with him,” Helenius said.
Helenius to begin training tomorrow
“I’m thinking about going back to training tomorrow just to shake this loss off, and see how I feel in the training and just to keep me going. I feel good in the training, so I’m going to continue that,” said Helenius.
“I don’t know what my time schedule is for my next fight. I have to have a meeting with my manager & my trainer to see how it would be possible and which time period.
“If I could choose myself, I would probably be around January. When I was 28, I thought that when I was 36, I would retire, and I’m still here. Back in 2009, 2010 & 2011, when I was beating Lamon Brewster and, Samuel Peter, and Sergei Liakhovich, I had a really good streak back then. But I had a really bad shoulder injury, so I had been away from boxing.
“I’ve been training, but I’ve not been getting punched in the head so much. So, I think I have at least a couple of years ahead of me if I can keep this training, motivation, and discipline up, I think at least two years.
“I’m feeling fine, but I’m a little bit hurt after the loss. It hurts my soul and my heart the most. My head is OK; I haven’t felt any dizziness or anything. Everything is normal. I want to go back and train,” said Helenius.