Featured image: Matchroom Boxing Twitter.

Finland heavyweight Robert Helenius has been confirmed as Anthony Joshua‘s opponent for this weekend at London’s O2 Arena.

The former European heavyweight champion signed to face the Briton after original opponent Dillian Whyte returned an adverse finding in a Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) test.

Helenius, 32-4(21KOs), only returned to the ring on Saturday with a third-round stoppage of Mike Mielonen in his home country.

The victory came nine months after a first-round knockout defeat to former WBC champion Deontay Wilder last year.

The 39 year old’s career looked to be over after losing to Gerald Washington in 2019 but consecutive victories over former contender Adam Kownacki have since rejuvenated the Finland man.

Joshua meanwhile marked his own ring return with a unanimous decision victory over Jermaine Franklin in April.

The 33 year old surrendered his unified heavyweight titles with back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in 2020 and 2021.

Joshua, (25-3, 22KOs) has maintained his desire to fight three times this year and remains set to challenge the aforementioned Wilder in Saudi Arabia in either December of January.

Joshua defeated Franklin over twelve rounds in London four months ago. Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

The former two-time heavyweight champion was initially set to meet old rival Whyte who he stopped inside seven rounds in 2015 before news broke of the adverse finding on Saturday.

Matchroom Boxing confirmed the fight had been cancelled as the search began for a new opponent one week out from fight night.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has since confirmed that the fight will no longer be on DAZN pay-per-view and is included in the monthly subscription price for the streaming platform.

The Undercard:

IBF heavyweight mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12KOs) and Demsey McKean (22-0, 14KOs) trade blows in the chief support.

Heavyweight veterans Derek Chisora (33-13, 23KOs) and the aforementioned Washington (20-5-1, 13KOs) are also set for the undercard.

All four were rumoured as potential opponents for Joshua in the main event before the Helenius announcement came earlier today.

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