I fought Anthony Joshua in 2015 on five days notice just like Robert Helenius and was left thinking ‘oh s**t’

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FORMER boxer Jason Gavern feared the worst after agreeing to fight Anthony Joshua on just five days notice in 2015.

Robert Helenius is in the same position as the American after he stepped in to replace the banned Dillian Whyte at late notice.

PA:Press Association
Anthony Joshua fought Jason Gavern at late notice in 2015[/caption]
Robert Helenius has agreed to fight AJ in place of Dillian Whyte[/caption]


The Finn revealed to SunSport that he had to cancel a family holiday to face AJ, and Gavern felt similarly unprepared after his clash with Joshua was announced.

He told the Daily Star: “I fought him on five days notice.

“Eddie Hearn called me and said ‘hey, do you want to fight?’ I flew to London, we had a day of media and then I got a train to Newcastle. We arrived and I fought him two days later!

“I was in camp with Joshua a couple of times and he’s a great guy. He’s very respectful and very personable. I could talk to him and joke around. When I fought him in Newcastle he came across the ring and I thought ‘oh s***, this guy is huge.’

“He had a different look and I thought ‘oh boy, here we go.’ He was a super cool guy to spar with. I was a veteran at the time, so I tried to give him some pointers and things like that.”

Gavern’s fears were realised inside three rounds as he was twice knocked down before Joshua landed a knock-out blow in the third.

AJ will be aiming to do the same to Helenius after failing to impress in his points win over Jermaine Franklin last time out.

Like Helenius, Gavern had suffered defeats to Deontay Wilder and Gerald Washinton in the run-up to facing AJ, which ended up being the penultimate fight of his career.

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However The Nordic Nightmare has had a much more successful career than Gavern with just four defeats compared to 21.

Promoter Eddie Hearn certainly believes Helenius can give Joshua a test, despite many fans voicing their anger at the selection.

He said: “You go into the wild west of who wants it, who doesn’t.

“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.”

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