Anthony Joshua is predicting a tenth round knockout over Jermaine Franklin this Saturday night in their ‘New Dawn’ headliner at the O2 Arena in London, England.
A knockout win for AJ would please his promoter Eddie Hearn, who feels that he needs a blowout win over Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) to make a statement to the fans and the boxing world that he’s rejuvenated and ready to take his throne as the #1 heavyweight in the sport.
Winning a decision over Franklin won’t be a good enough victory for Joshua to show that he’s ready to rip the titles away from champions Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
With Joshua towering over the much smaller Franklin during their face-off today, it makes it even more important that AJ blow this guy out of the water on Saturday night.
“Rhythm and flow. Once you’re in that flow state and your rhythm is there, you put your shots together,” said Anthony Joshua to talkSPORT Boxing when asked what we’ll see from him on Saturday night, fighting for the first time with new coach Derrick James.
“I think with Jermaine, around ten,” Joshua said when asked to predict which round he’ll knock out Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night. “He’s a tough old cookie,” said AJ, perhaps not realizing that he’s four years older than the 29-year-old Franklin.
“In this industry, I don’t look for credibility from outside sources, people within the industry that you year for credibility from. It was like, ‘Forget these belts. If I ain’t got them, they ain’t worth nothing because I’m the one that brings value to these belts. We’re in Saudi Arabia because of me.’ That’s the mindset that I had.
“‘I built this. I built the road to undisputed.’ I was one step away. In my heart, it was, ‘beat Usyk, and then I’m there.’ I was one step away. If you don’t want to watch that emotion and what boxing means to me, obviously, it came out the wrong way.
“If I had won, you would have seen the most rawest celebration, but you saw the tragic side of what losing is like. That was just pure emotion pouring out. I said I had two fights with Oleksandr Usyk, and I had one with my emotions.
“It wasn’t the right thing to do, but I live and learn. I wouldn’t apologize for it because I think that makes me weak, but I can learn from it, and I’ll try to do better if it ever happens
“As a big person, I’m quite chiseled. It’s not about power-punching. It’s about picking your shots and putting them together. I just want to have fun and do it for me and do it for my coach.
“I feel conditioned enough to do the twelve rounds at a good rate, a good pace and I want to thank my team as well that has been in training camp that pushed me.
“I like the numbers that I’m seeing, that gives me confidence for what I’m going to be doing. When I look back, I’ve never made that reference, ‘I’m going to make a statement,'” said Joshua.