Anthony Joshua’s new trainer Derrick James confesses that he wished AJ had knocked out Jermaine Franklin last Saturday night instead of winning a 12 round unanimous decision at the O2 Arena in London.
Joshua looked slow, musclebound, and fearful against Franklin (21-2, 14 KOs), showing very little aggressiveness that fans had hoped to see from him.
In some ways, Joshua looked like a poor copy of Wladimir Klitschko, but without the speed, mobility, powerful left hook & stiff jab that the former world champion was known for.
“I was happy because he did exactly what I wanted him to do,” Derrick James said to DAZN Boxing Show about his thoughts on Anthony Joshua’s performance against Jermaine Franklin.
“People said they wanted him to do this and that; that wasn’t in my plan.”
If Derrick was happy with Joshua, it’s troubling because the fans didn’t like what they saw from him. The fans saw that Joshua wasn’t the same fighter he’d been in the past, even in his recent fights, which tells you that James didn’t improve his game.
“When given somebody new, you have to simplify to where he’s not thinking about it; he can just do it naturally,” said James.
“The movements and everything that he did, Jermaine Franklin is a tough fighter, and he’s going to fight you until the end.”
“Would I want him to knock him out? Yeah,” Derrick said about Joshua. “I don’t ask my guys to do that because it’s a whole lot of pressure.”
James says overall he’s satisfied with the performance of the former unified heavyweight champion Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs), who snapped his two-fight losing streak with a wide – but dull – decision over the American.
The boxing public didn’t like what they saw from the 33-year-old Joshua, with many of them noting that he’d regressed from what they saw from him in his previous performance under ex-trainer Robert Garcia last August in his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Some fans think Joshua should sack Derrick asap and return to Robert Garcia because he’s not improved. The more time Joshua wastes with Derrick, the more likely he’ll develop bad habits and get beaten repeatedly.
With AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn dropping hints that he could face Dillian Whyte next in July, he should be safe for at least one more fight before he starts losing again once he’s put in with a live opponent, like Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury or Joe Joyce.