Johsua v Franklin: Hearn says AJ “coming heavy to do demolition job” on Franklin

By Michael Collins - 03/31/2023 - Comments

Eddie Hearn believes that the purpose of Anthony Joshua coming in heavy today at 255 1/4 pounds at the weigh-in is a sign that he’s coming to do a “demolition job” against the smaller, weaker Jermaine Franklin this Saturday night in ‘The New Dawn’ event at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Hearn says he expects Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) to be like “the old” AJ, and jump on Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) if he hurts him with anything early in the fight. Once Joshua smells blood, he’ll go all out to finish the job and empty the tank.

Hearn says that Joshua has been working on his output, throwing a lot of sustained punches in camp with new coach Derrick James to improve his conditioning and get him accustomed to throwing the combinations that he’ll need to end the fight.

Franklin weighed in at 234¾ lbs on Friday and looked considerably smaller than the 257 lbs that he came in at last November for his fight against Dillian Whyte. Hearn believes that with the lighter weight, Franklin will be faster.

“A couple of packs [instead of a six-pack]. He’s 24 pounds lighter than when he fought Dillian Whyte. He’s going to be a lot faster, he’s going to have a better engine and more confident,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing King Media about Jermaine Franklin’s physical condition for his fight against Anthony Joshua on Saturday.

“Can he stand up to the firepower of Anthony Joshua because what I saw of AJ was a guy that was coming in heavy to do a demolition job? I feel like he looked great, but I expect Franklin to move very well and try and frustrate AJ with that movement.

“I think he’s got to be effective early in this fight because if he gets through seven, eight, nine rounds and AJ is not landing and making a dent, he will get frustrated, and that’s when it’ll play into Franklin’s hands.

“Maybe,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua could have issues with gassing out in the later rounds. “I know this camp has been all about working on the output of punches thrown for that reason. Put yourself in situations where you are emptying the tank.

“I think AJ used to start very fast. I don’t think AJ will necessarily start fast tomorrow, but what he must do is, when he has success, follow that up and try and end the fight or try and put a big dent in him.

“I feel like he’s going to hurt him early, and rather than hurt him and take his time, be like the old AJ. As soon as you smell blood jump on him and then empty the tank.

“I think when people say, ‘Ah, he’s not as aggressive as he used to be,’ I think he just got wiser, and he knows if he emptied the tank in round three or four in the past, maybe it’s, ‘Okay, let’s pace ourselves a little bit’ because the fact that he was naive and he was going to end the fight immediately. As the opposition steps up, it doesn’t always work like that,” said Hearn.

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