Joshua vs Franklin: AJ “looks ready to destroy” says Eddie Hearn

By Michael Collins - 03/29/2023 - Comments

Eddie Hearn likes what he sees in the bulked-up Anthony Joshua in how he looks ahead of his fight against American heavyweight Jermaine Franklin for their main event bout on DAZN this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Judging by Joshua’s appearance, he could scale in over 250 lbs on Friday, which makes some wonder how much time he spent lifting weights for this contest.

Joshua has already stated that he will hang up his gloves if he loses to Franklin because he doesn’t see any point in continuing. AJ wants to win world titles, and, if he can’t beat Franklin, it would let him know that he won’t accomplish that goal.

In Joshua’s fight against Carlos Takam in October 2017, he weighed a career-high 254 lbs and labored to a premature tenth-round stoppage.

AJ looked musclebound for that fight and looked precisely the same for this match. The difference is Joshua is fighting a better opponent than Takam on Saturday, and he’s a lot older now at 33.

Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) is making his first appearance with new trainer Derrick James after spending camp training with the well-respect coach in Texas for the last two months, preparing for the ‘989 Assassin’ Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs).

“Always [nervous about Joshua]. He’s a big part of the stable; he’s a good friend, and I want him to win badly. It’s heavyweight boxing, and there’s a lot of unanswered questions, but I like what I see,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social about Anthony Joshua’s fight this Saturday night against Jermaine Franklin in London.

“He looks ready to me; he looks ready to go in and destroy and I hope we see a great performance on Saturday,” Hearn continued. “I think every fighter would like to win by knockout. Every seasoned trainer will say, ‘By any means necessary. We just need to get the win.’

“I agree, but if we want to build into what’s possible, a dominating performance that would make the world take note would put a lot of pressure on certain people to make fights. So that’s what I want to see. I want people to say, ‘Wow, he’s back. Wow, he’s an elite heavyweight,’ and ‘Wow, we need to see that fight,’ because that’s how you see fights happen,” said Hearn.

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