AJ vs Franklin Undercard Features British Heavyweight Champion And Two Top 15 Middleweights Who Are Likely To Meet Next If They Both Win Their Respective Bouts
Britain’s former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) returns to the ring this Saturday, April 1 against top American contender Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) at what will be a sold-out 18,000 crowd at London’s O2 Arena, Live and exclusively on DAZN around the world.
The 33-year-old, from Watford, has fought his last 13 fights on pay-per-view, boxing exclusively behind an additional paywall for almost eight years. His fight with Franklin, however, will stream as part of the regular DAZN subscription.
Joshua is returning on the back of consecutive defeats at the hands of P4P king Oleksandr Usyk and cannot afford to come second best on April 1 or it may well be curtains for the British superstar’s storied career.
Franklin suffered his first career defeat in November at the hands of Dillian Whyte via a 115-115, 116-112 and 116-112 majority decision. The result was controversial with the majority of fans edging the fight to Franklin but it was Whyte who got the decision.
The 10-fight card is scheduled to begin at 3:45 pm GMT (10:45 am ET, 7:45 am PT) on the Matchroom Boxing and DAZN Boxing YouTube channels with the main card a few hours later at 7 pm BST (2 pm ET, 11 am PT) on DAZN.
Main Event Ring Walks will take place at approximately 10 pm GMT (5 pm ET, 2 pm PT). Stay tuned to NoSmokeSport.com for more details about the running order, and fight week updates as they happen. Tickets for the event, starting at £100, are still available.
AJ vs Franklin Main Card
In the co-feature, British Heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley (15-0, 14 KOs) takes on American Michael Polite-Coffie (13-3, 10 KOs) over ten rounds. Wardley was touted to defend the Lonsdale belt on the card but there is a struggle to secure an opponent and Wardley/MR were not willing to give up a co-main event on such a big card.
Wardley stopped Nathan Gorman to claim the British title last November, and Coffie is coming off three defeats in his last four contests including back-to-back major upsets to Jonnie Rice and a loss to Gurgen Hovhannisyan last time out.
European Middleweight Champion, Italy’s Matteo Signani (32-6-3, 12 KOs) will defend his belt against the former British and Commonwealth champion Felix Cash (16-0, 10 KOs). Cash produced a career-best win in his emphatic third-round stoppage of Denzel Bentley two years ago but has struggled to push on with his career and hopes 2023 will be the year that changes.
US contender Ammo Williams (13-0 9 KOs) makes his third UK appearance against the Midland’s River Wilson-Bent (14-2-1, 6 KOs). Bent was stopped in two last time by Hamzah Sheeraz and this isn’t expected to be a particularly challenging fight for Williams.
Williams and Cash are expected to meet in the main event of a Matchroom UK card on June 10 at the OVO Arena, Wembley live on DAZN – should they come through their respective fights.
Campbell Hatton (10-0, 3 KOs) is back in action after hitting double figures in Liverpool in March, and the son of British boxing legend Ricky will meet Staffordshire’s experienced Louis Fielding (10-7, 1 KOs) in his first eight-round battle in the paid ranks
AJ vs Franklin Before The Bell
Essex’s John Hedges (7-0 2 KOs) steps up to eight rounds against ex-Tommy Fury opponent, Poland’s Daniel Bocianski (11-2, 2 KOs).
258 MGT’s new signing Jordan Flynn (8-0, 1 KO) and popular gatekeeper Kane Baker (18-9, 1 KO) collide over 8 rounds in an enticing, domestic before-the-bell addition.
Joshua’s sparring partner, German Peter Kadiru (14-1, 7 KOs) has landed a slot on the card against Alen Lauriolle (6-1, 3 KOs). Kadiru suffered an upset defeat at the hands of Marcos Antonio Aumada in his last contest.
Saudi Arabia’s Ziyad Almaayouf (2-0, 1 KOs), represented by Skills Challenge Entertainment, who hosted Joshua’s last bout in Saudi, faces Georgi Velichkov (3-11, 3 KOs) at Welterweight.
Popular Albanian middleweight Juergen Uldedaj (15-0, 6 KOs) meets Switzerland’s Benoit Huber (8-3, 6 KOs)
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin – 12 Rounds Heavyweight – Sat April 1– O2 Arena, London – Live On DAZN