Joe Joyce believes late replacement Robert Helenius is more than capable of providing Anthony Joshua a hard night's work.
Two-time world heavyweight champion Joshua is an overwhelming favorite to beat Helenius, who stepped in at seven days’ notice following the cancellation of AJ’s proposed clash with Dillian Whyte.
But Joyce, who has sparred both Joshua and Helenius is adamant that the ‘Nordic Nightmare’ will be no pushover for the home favorite.
Joyce told BoxingScene.com: “I think he’s a good late replacement. I’ve shared the ring with Helenius and he’s a good fighter, especially coming off a victory a few days ago. I think it will be a good fight. He got the call just after the fight so he did not go on holiday - he came straight over.
“He’s definitely got a shot, especially coming off a victory at the weekend. He will be very sharp and ready coming in off the back of a win like that. Coming in like that will make him sharp, ready-to-go and battle hardened.”
Joyce sparred with Helenius back in 2017 when the Fin was over in Sheffield helping Joshua prepare to fight Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium.
“As well as Joshua, me and Frazer Clarke were sparring him when he was over in Sheffield,” Joyce recalled.
“I think that was probably the time he was over sparring Joshusa before the Klitschko fight.
“I think Helenius made the mistake of having me and Frazer doing one round each, me and Frazer were alternating. But even with that he was a good fighter - good jab, hook, right hand. He’s got good skills and I think it will be an interesting fight.
“I don’t know what Joshua’s tactics were going in for Dillian but Helenius has a different style, he’s more at-range than Dillian so I think it’s an interesting one. This will be a good fight.”