Joshua vs Franklin Undercard Confirmed Ahead Of April 1 O2 Fight Night

Jermaine Franklin DISMISSES Anthony Joshua’s Resume, Points Towards Fury And Wilder Fights Which Haven’t Happened

Jermaine Franklin Is Not As Impressed As Eddie Hearn And Others By Anthony Joshua’s Resume

Britain’s former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, April 1 at London’s 18,000-capacity O2 Arena live on DAZN worldwide (NOT PPV). Joshua faces top 15, American Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs).

Fight negotiations between the pair almost fell apart at the 11th hour on Sunday due to an unspecified last-minute delay that put the bout in jeopardy. Work was done throughout the night though to save the fight and pen was put to paper on Monday in time for the announcement. The pair will meet at a launch press conference on Thursday in London to officially announce the contest.

Franklin is best known for his closely contested 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.

Ahead of the conference, Franklin went on the DAZN Boxing Show to share his thoughts on the matchup with Joshua. The American heavyweight believes that he won his contest with Whyte 7-5 and the loss has made him even more hungry. He does rate AJ as more skilled than Whyte and admits he will have to improve his game to be victorious on April 1

Franklin dismissed the often talked about, ‘glittering’ resume of Joshua arguing that the British heavyweight hasn’t shared the ring with domestic rival Tyson Fury or American puncher Deontay Wilder. “I’m not going to say he ducked Wilder but it’s kind of strange when that wilder situation was going on and then you haven’t fought Fury.”

The Michigan-based fighter offers two explanations for why Joshua-Wilder didn’t happen, claiming it is either AJ himself who doesn’t believe he can win or the team around him. “I know how boxing works. You can either be straight ducking this man (Wilder) or your team advising you not to take the fight.”

The standout win on the British superstar’s resume is his 2017 back-and-forth war with former unified champion Wladimir Klitschko. Franklin thinks this win is overrated though as he believes the Ukrainian would’ve beat him in his prime. “You beat up on an older Klitschko.” Klitschko also lost his last fight before Joshua to Fury eighteen months prior.

A boost of confidence for Franklin may arise from the two Usyk fights as the American contender is baffled by the tactics used by Joshua in both fights. Franklin described AJ’s performance as ‘questionable’, “The Usyk fight, the way he was fighting. I don’t know if he was going through a mental thing.”

Boxing experts have almost united in the belief that Joshua’s mental weaknesses have been his downfall in recent fights and that a rebuilding process is needed as a result. Franklin concluded the interview by saying he was confident in pulling off the upset and that he sees flaws that can be exploited whilst he was studying the Brit’s performances.

NoSmokeSport understands that the 29-year-old Americans’ training camp for this bout will take place in Florida, USA under the guidance of his head trainer Jesse Addison.

By Darshan Desai

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