Eddie Hearn says “big fight” for Anthony Joshua in summer

By Michael Collins - 04/03/2023 - Comments

Promoter Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua will be moving on for a big fight in the summer” after his decisive twelve-round unanimous decision victory over Jermaine Franklin in AJ’s comeback fight last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.

Fans want to see Joshua fight Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, or Joe Joyce next, NOT Dillian Whyte.

Hearn didn’t give any hints about who the opponent will be for Joshua but it would be disingenuous on his part if the washed British journeyman Whyte is picked. He doesn’t count as a “big fight” unless this was 2015 or 2016.

Whyte has done nothing with his career besides beating fringe-level heavyweights like Dereck Chisora, Joseph Parker, and Oscar Rivas.

Most would agree that Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) looked positively timid, slow, worried, and failed to let his hands go with the combination punching that fans & Hearn had hoped to see from him.

Joshua gunshy against Franklin

Gareth Davies: “Nerves over? It was very interesting tonight, wasn’t it?” Gareth said to talkSPORT Boxing about Anthony Joshua’s win over Jermaine Franklin.

Eddie Hearn: “It was a very tactical fight. I thought Franklin was a very awkward style for him and a great chin.”

Gareth: “Very, very durable.”

Hearn: “I think AJ was a little gunshy early on, working on the technique. Obviously, there was a lot of pressure. I thought he finished the fight really well and left a little bit of energy in the ring, a little bit of frustration, you know?

“He’ll be a little bit flat with that performance, but this is his first fight with Derrick James. He won the fight comfortably, and Franklin is a decent operator. There are a lot of levels above him, but we move on with the win.

“I don’t think he’ll be over the moon with the performance, but it was a solid performance. He took some good shots himself. He kept composed. Lots of things to work on.”

Gareth: “There was that thing where we were almost out of our seats three or four times. He seemed to get into a dominant mode in the fight, and then he was caught by one. Maybe because of our own scared history with him, we all worry as well.”

Hearn: “Every time he landed one and Franklin landed on, the noise was five times louder with the ‘Oooh.’ But he took the shots well tonight, and I think it was a case of building confidence as well.

“Don’t forget; he was coming off two defeats. He was in a tough place. He needed to bank those rounds tonight. I was really pleased with his engine. He had loads. He could have done another 12 rounds, which is unusual for him. He never looked tired in the fight.

“I would have liked to have seen a little more punch output from him, but he boxed nicely. His defense was good. I would like to see him more offensive, and you’ll see that against a bigger guy.

“Franklin, I think, stayed in his shell a little bit, and he held as well in the backend of the fight. All in all, Anthony Joshua is back in the winning.”

Gareth: “I just saw that his stamina and fitness was extraordinary actually.”

Hearn: “That was a big plus tonight to go through those rounds without ever looking tired and a decent punch output in the end as well. A good jab early on, but Franklin was tricky. He was awkward and he tried to survive, Franklin, as well in the second half of the fight.

“He started well, but he looked like he gave the impression he was trying, but I think he was happy to survive when it was all said and done.”

Gareth: “A bit of spite from him as well afterwards because he wasn’t happy that Jermaine Franklin was putting his head in, maybe. I think that’s what it was.”

Hearn: “I think it was a bit of frustration from AJ because he has a new trainer and he’s working on new stuff. Slightly new style for him. He wasn’t able to get shots off like he wanted, but it’s okay.

“Some will like the performance and some will criticize the performance and we move on for a big fight in the summer,” said Hearn.

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Last Updated on 04/03/2023