ANTHONY JOSHUA threw Dillian Whyte out of their fight over the substance and levels involved in his failed doping test.
The pair were scheduled to clash this Saturday and entered the Vada testing pool on July 9, with 35-year-old Whyte returning adverse findings around Friday August 4.
The situation is shockingly similar to the collapse of Conor Benn vs Chris Eubank Jr in October, when the son of British ring legend Nigel failed two tests.
However, in that instance, all parties involved – including Eubank Jr and his promoters – pushed to keep the doping red flags quiet and push the fight on.
But promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed 33-year-old AJ pulled the trigger, at great cost to himself, over the seriousness of Whyte’s red flags.
The Matchroom boss told talkSPORT: “There are quite a few differences, firstly the test results and the substances were very different.
"Secondly, the conversations with the teams were very different, Benn vs Eubank was a co-promotion, AJ vs Whyte was a pure Matchroom promotion.
“Eubank’s team wanted to investigate the situation and after taking medical advice they were willing to proceed with the bout,
"In this instance, AJ and his team looked at the results and wanted to terminate the contract immediately.”
Hearn has supported Benn vociferously throughout his fight against his doping charge but looks unlikely to offer Whyte the same support.
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Despite working together on fights since 2015, the Essex fight boss says he does not know Whyte well enough to be in his corner for this career-threatening battle.
But he hopes he can prove his innocence and save his fighting future.
He said: “I don’t represent Dillian, so I can’t talk on his behalf.
“What I can say is, I am surprised and shocked, he has employed Vada testing meticulously over his career but he has a big fight on his hands.
“On Saturday, when we found out, I was definitely surprised and he has a big fight ahead.
“The good news is that If someone has illegal substances in their system then you want that to be discovered.
“I don’t know Dillian Whyte well enough, I haven’t looked into the science enough, I would like to think that he is innocent because I don’t like the idea that he would try to gain an advantage in this fight. But we also cannot ignore the situation.”
🥊 Anthony Joshua vs Robert Helenius: How to watch, UK start time, live stream details 🥊
Joshua now has a new opponent in Robert Helenius for his fight this weekend at the O2 Arena.
Amazingly, Helenius was last in action at the weekend, and even more stunningly that bout took place in a castle.
The 32-5 fighter stopped Mika Mielonen with a TKO in Round 3 in at Olavinlinna in Savonlinna, Finland.
Helenius is also already known to UK fans ahead of his date in front of a sold-out O2 Arena.
The 39-year-old secured a controversial 2011 points win over Derek Chisora and then took Whyte the distance in a dull 2017 defeat.
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But the 6ft 6in is perhaps better known for the outing he had prior to his victory over Mielonen.
Helenius suffered a brutal 40-second knockout against Deontay Wilder in 2022.
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