Eddie Hearn, promoter for heavyweight Anthony Joshua, explains that Robert Helenius is a very credible opponent on short notice.
Helenius had seen action three days ago, when he took down Mika Mielonen in three rounds. It was Helenius' first bout since getting knocked out in the first round by Deontay Wilder last October.
Should Joshua overcome Helenius, this coming Saturday night, he will move forward with a planned showdown against Wilder in the Middle East.
Helenius came in on late notice after Joshua's original opponent, Dillian Whyte, was pulled from the fight after testing positive for a banned substance.
"You go into the wild west of who wants it, who doesn't," Hearn said to Talk Sport. "We wanted someone credible, who would come to fight, who we could do a deal with at pace. He's had big wins and got chinned by Wilder. He boxed on Saturday and got a knockout."
There were several fighters who were interested, at least on social media, to face Joshua on short notice.
One of those fighters is former world champion Andy Ruiz. Back in 2019, Ruiz pulled off a shocker when he stopped Joshua out in New York City. Six months later, Joshua got revenge with a dominant decision win in their rematch.
When the news broke that Whyte was officially out, Ruiz called for a trilogy.
According to Hearn, Ruiz never made contact and would have likely overpriced himself.
"Andy Ruiz put a tweet out but never contacted us. He would have probably wanted 10 mill. [Helenius] has had two good wins on pay-per-view in the US, he can punch a bit and is a credible fighter," Hearn said.
"We are taking the fight off PPV and the financial difference for AJ is astounding but he wanted to fight. We all wanted to see the Dillian Whyte fight."