Joshua vs Franklin: British Boxing Superstar Returns To The Lion’s Den Against Once-Beaten American
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 is a sold-out 17,000 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.
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.
With injury to Felix Cash, his European title challenge against Matteo Signani is off the card and will be replaced by 2020 Olympic gold medalist and WBC International Flyweight champion Galal Yafai (3-0) against big-punching Mexican gatekeeper Moises Calleros (36-10-1, 19 KOs).
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.
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)
Joshua vs Franklin Start Times, TV Channel And Main Event Ring Walks
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).
Joshua vs Franklin Running Order
16:00 DOORS OPEN
16:00 LIVE ON BEFORE THE BELL
6 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
PETER KADIRU 239.3 lbs v ALEN LAURIOLLE 273.2 lbs
(Hamburg, Germany) (Skopje, Macedonia)
8 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
JUERGEN ULDEDAJ 203.8 lbs v BENOIT HUBER 200 lbs
(Lezhe, Albania) (Sion, Switzerland)
8 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight contest
JORDAN FLYNN 129.10 lbs v KANE BAKER 129.8 lbs
(Oxford, England) (Birmingham, England)
4 x 3 mins International Welterweight contest
ZIYAD ALMAAYOUF 145.14 lbs v GEORGI VELICHKOV 142.7 lbs
(Saudi Arabia) (Sofia, Bulgaria)
8 x 3 mins International Light-Heavyweight contest
JOHN HEDGES 189.14 lbs v DANIEL BOCIANSKI 186.4 lbs
(Takeley, England) (Nowy Sacz, Poland)
19:00 LIVE ON DAZN
10 x 3 mins International Middleweight contest
AUSTIN WILLIAMS 162.8 lbs v RIVER WILSON-BENT 162.7 lbs
(Houston, USA) (Coventry, England)
8 x 3 mins Super-Lightweight contest
CAMPBELL HATTON 139.12 lbs v LOUIS FIEDLING 138.6 lbs
(Hyde, England) (Tamworth, England)
10 x 3 mins International Flyweight contest
GALAL YAFAI 113.8 lbs v MOISES CALLEROS 114.2 lbs
(Birmingham, England) (Monterrey, Mexico)
10 x 3 mins vacant WBA Continental Heavyweight Title
FABIO WARDLEY 242.6 lbs v MICHAEL POLITE-COFFIE 269.4 lbs
(Ipswich, England) (Kissimmee, USA)
12 x 3 mins International Heavyweight contest
ANTHONY JOSHUA 255.4 lbs v JERMAINE FRANKLIN 234.12 lbs
(Watford, England) (Saginaw, USA)
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin – 12 Rounds Heavyweight – Sat April 1– O2 Arena, London – Live On DAZN