Anthony Joshua's fight with Robert Helenius nearly collapsed over glove dispute
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Anthony Joshua's fight on Saturday night was nearly scuppered for a second time over a glove row.
The former world heavyweight champion was initially scheduled to face long-time rival Dillian Whyte for the second time in his professional career but the fight was cancelled after the 'Body Snatcher' failed a drugs test.
Finnish fighter Robert Helenius stepped in as a replacement at incredibly short notice, having been in action in his native country just a week ago.
But the bout was almost nixed amid a huge dispute over gloves. Helenius and his team were absolutely furious with the Leone gloves Joshua is wearing in the main event at the O2 Arena.
WATCH BOTH TEAMS ROW OVER THE GLOVES HERE:
David Ghansa, who is Joshua's long-time friend and training camp manager, selected the gloves.
But Helenius and his camp were not happy with the chosen gloves, claiming the padding was different and feeling as though 'AJ' had an advantage as a result.
The Nordic Nightmare had even described the gloves as "f****ing bulls***" and said, "I need exactly the same gloves" - claiming everybody knows what was going on.
Hearing there's an emerging glove row. Helenius is now apparently not happy with his own gloves so now wants a pair of what Anthony Joshua will be wearing - a pair of DiNardos (for the first time).— Declan Taylor (@DeclanTaylor87) August 11, 2023
THIS IS GLOVEGATE.
Johan Lindstrom, Helenius' trainer, stated there was "so little padding" even if British Boxing Board of Control officials confirmed they had are valid for use.
Lindstrom got into it with Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith over the matter but Ghansa was able to allay all concerns and confirm that Helenius would be given a pair of the very same gloves on fight night.
Everything was left amicably, with handshakes and embraces all round.
The weigh-in between the pair was a fiery one, with some fans accusing Joshua of "losing the plot" after he told his opponent, "you look like you’ve got a problem with me" during the final face-off.
He then added: "We can have a fight tomorrow night or we can have a fight here."
Should he beat Helenius, Joshua is widely expected to square off against former WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a blockbuster fight.