Anthony Joshua returns to the ring Saturday night against Jermaine Franklin and also returns to The Lions Den, The o2. Much has been said about his opponent with many critics saying AJ has taken an easy touch, but is that too disrespectful towards his counterpart? Franklin impressed in a majority decision loss to Dillian Whyte in November and now has his chance to shock the world. But who is he? We take a look.

Spotlight On Jermaine Franklin

Jermaine Franklin, also known as the “989 Assassin”, was born in Saginaw, Michigan in 1993. He had a relatively short amateur career beginning in 2013 and 2015 with 11 fights, 9 wins, and 2 losses.

He made his Professional boxing debut at the age of 21 on April 4, 2015, where he defeated Deshawn Jenkins via 1st round TKO. Since then, he has gone on to amass an impressive professional record of 21-1, with 14 of those wins coming by way of knockout.

Franklin has faced tough opposition throughout his career, with notable victories over Jerry Forrest, Cory Phelps, Danny Calhoun, Ed Fountain, Daniel Adotey Allotey, Daniel Pasciolla, and Adam Collins. He has shown himself to be a well-rounded fighter with a combination of speed, power, and ring IQ.

The 29-Year-old became more of a familiar name in the sport when he agreed on a deal to fight Dillian Whyte at Wembley arena in November of last year. Again, as with AJ, many had said that Whyte had taken an easier fight due to Franklin being relatively unknown, but Franklin impressed. Many people felt that Franklin did enough to get the decision and he himself claimed he was robbed as the majority decision went against him.

It will be interesting to see on such a huge stage against Anthony Joshua. AJ will be looking for an impressive performance following back-to-back defeats against Olexsandr Usyk. Can Franklin can go in with the attitude of having nothing to lose and thus alleviating the pressure or will the occasion be too much for him? Will AJ be too much of a step up in level or is Franklin the real deal? We will find out the answer to these questions Saturday night live on DAZN.

By Lee Browne

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