Heavyweight contender Robert Helenius has demanded the WBA establish him as the mandatory challenger for their ‘super’ title and give him the next shot at the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua.
The victor of Usyk’s rematch with Joshua on August 20 will secure that WBA title, as well as the WBO and IBF heavyweight belts. But triumphing in one of the biggest fights of 2022 will also leave the winner with a raft of mandatory challengers all looking eventually to press their claim for each of those title belts.
Britain’s Joe Joyce is positioned as the WBO’s number one heavyweight challenger, while Helenius is adamant he should be in place to force his own fight for the WBA’s belt.
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Robert Helenius is looking for a big fight this year. (Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire)
“I am rightfully the WBA mandatory, so of course I am interested in the Usyk vs Joshua winner,” Helenius told Sky Sports.
The 38-year-old from Finland has stopped Adam Kownacki in his last two fights, most recently featuring prominently on the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III undercard. Helenius won a WBA ‘gold’ belt in his first bout with Kownacki and is currently placed at number two in their world rankings. He is adamant he must be next in line to challenge the Usyk-Joshua winner for the WBA championship.
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“I definitely should be next. Every elimination bout after mine is bulls***. At this point, if we are not designated the mandatory after Usyk’s next fight, we will only have one option,” he insisted.
“My lawyers are very confident that the WBA have bungled this whole thing, so I am confident in my position.”
Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk refused to look away from each other during an intense face-off between the pair ahead of the world heavyweight title rematch.
Sky Sports approached the WBA for a comment.
Helenius will be looking for further opportunities this year, possibly as a comeback opponent for Wilder or even Fury.
British contenders like Daniel Dubois or Joe Joyce could also view him as the right fight to position themselves for a shot at a major title.
“For now I will just stay focused on training and see how Usyk vs Joshua and my WBA situation plays out,” Helenius said.
“But I remain in a great position for something very big in the coming months for sure.”
Ahead of his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua jokes that every time Tyson Fury predicts he will lose a fight he ends up winning it!
The biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing – Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall – is live on Sky Sports on Saturday, September 10. Be part of history and buy tickets for the London showdown here.