Anthony Joshua will return to the ring tonight (1 April), taking on Jermaine Franklin in London.
Joshua will look to get back to winning ways after two straight defeats by Oleksandr Usyk, who took the unified heavyweight titles from the Briton with a decision win 2021 before retaining the gold in a rematch last August.
If Joshua is to build back to a world title shot, he will need to overcome Franklin here, and “AJ” will have the home advantage at London’s O2 Arena.
American Franklin has some experience fighting a Briton on their home soil, however, with the 29-year-old’s last bout having come against Dillian Whyte in November.
Franklin lost a controversial majority decision to Whyte over 12 rounds, with one judge’s scorecard reading 115-115, while the other two read 116-112 in favour of Whyte.
Prior to that contest at Wembley Arena, where Joshua watched on from ringside, Franklin was unbeaten at 21-0 with 14 knockout wins.
Ahead of Whyte vs Franklin, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said the winner would be next for “AJ”, leading Whyte to express his frustration in February upon the news that the opposite would in fact be true – as Franklin was paired with Joshua despite his loss in November.
Prior to the announcement that Franklin would box Joshua, Whyte was by far the American’s most well-known opponent to date.
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