Carl Froch tears aside Anthony Joshua’s ‘beginner’ efficiency towards Robert Helenius

Carl Froch has delivered a brutal evaluation of Anthony Joshua’s efficiency towards Robert Helenius, accusing the British heavyweight of preventing like a ‘beginner’.

Joshua knocked out Helenius, a late-notice alternative for Dillian Whyte, in Round 7 on Saturday (12 August) after preventing tentatively within the first six rounds.

Despite “AJ” securing the emphatic knockout that he wanted en path to a possible conflict with Deontay Wilder, the previous two-time world heavyweight champion didn’t do sufficient to impress Froch.

Froch, a former unified super-middleweight champion, mentioned on YouTube on Friday (18 August): “For me, it was a 5/10 performance. Okay, he got the job done, he knocked out Helenius in Round 7 with a decent [shot]. Helenius was exhausted by that point, which is why I thought the knockout came.

“AJ timed him nicely with a jab to the body then brought the right hand over the top […] I don’t think [Helenius] was knocked out cold, but he was exhausted. Once he got hit with that shot and went over, he probably thought to himself: ‘You know what? I’ve earnt my money, I’m not gonna win the fight, I’m not getting paid for overtime. Let’s stay down and go home.’ Why wouldn’t he? He boxed a week earlier.

“It was poor, it was a weak opponent for this stage of AJ’s career, when he’s now looking at fighting someone like Deontay Wilder. If he’s looking at fighting Deontay Wilder on the back of that performance… that performance was awful, it was terrible, it was such a bad performance in so many ways. It was tentative, it was gun shy.”

Helenius changed Whyte after the Briton failed a drug check within the lead-up to his deliberate rematch with Joshua, who’s in talks to field Wilder in early 2024.

“He looked like he didn’t want to be in there at times,” Froch mentioned of Joshua, 33. “He was getting outboxed with a weak, poor jab; [Helenius] wasn’t setting it up, he was smashing it, ram-rodding it in AJ’s face […] Anthony Joshua was sitting back, waiting, looking confused, looking like he was scared to throw.

“He’s not ready for the Deontay Wilder fight, I really don’t think he is. That performance does not set him up for a big showdown with Wilder […] Style-wise, AJ is like a beginner, like a novice pro. Helenius had absolutely busted up AJ behind the jab.

Joshua stopped Helenius with a right hand in Round 7 at London’s O2 Arena

(Action Images via Reuters)

“[There was] swelling under his eyes, his nose was p***ing with blood, his mouth was bleeding – as we saw when he jumped out of the ring, which was a bit strange, and had a slurp on that nasty Irish stout that Conor McGregor shoved in his face. He had all blood and sweat and snot inside that point.”

Froch, 46, additionally branded his fellow Briton “unprofessional” and “disrespectful” for the interplay with UFC star McGregor, which occurred at ringside whereas Helenius acquired medical consideration.

Joshua vs Wilder is within the works for an early 2024 date in Saudi Arabia. American Wilder, 37, has not fought since knocking out Helenius in Round 1 in October.

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