Eddie Hearn says he wants Anthony Joshua to unload combinations on Jermaine Franklin to obliterate him with a sustained combination this Saturday night on April 1st in their fight at the O2 Arena in London.
(Photo credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)
Hearn wants Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) to fight like he used to when he was first starting out, jumping on his opponents and snowing them under with shots until they would drop.
Somehow, Joshua has veered away from fighting that way over the years, and he’s less effective now compared to when he was destroying the likes of Kevin Johnson, Dominic Breazeale, and Eric Molina many years ago.
Joshua must be brutal against Franklin
“I think he’s got to be brutal, he’s got to be dangerous,” said Eddie Hearn to Secondsout about how he wants Anthony Joshua to fight against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night.
“He loves to fight, but I want to see him let his hands go and take this guy out,” Hearn continued about Joshua’s fight against Franklin.
“I think he’s in a situation now where he needs a good performance. I want the good performance not necessarily because I want his commercial star to rise.
“Personally, I want him to put in a good performance because he’s put in sacrifices, and I believe he’s a great fighter, and I want to perform on Saturday night and put in a great performance.
“I just think that’s Britain, really, and the world. More so in Britain,” said Hearn about boxing fans tearing Joshua down. “We champion you on the way up, but when you get to the top and you’re the man, that’s when the haters come in more. I just want people to get behind him because I think he’s a great bloke and a great fighter.
“None of us would be here without AJ. Honestly, he’s completely changed the landscape of British boxing.
“I said to him in Dallas, ‘You do realize that when you let your hands go, you put the fear of Christ into your opponents.’ When that guy [Joshua] stands over you and unloads combinations at that speed, it’s frightening to watch,” said Hearn.
AJ’s defense has improved
“His defense is brilliant. It’s improved so much, but maybe his best form of defense is his attack because when he lets his hands go, and I just saw Jermaine Franklin down there,” said Hearn. “He’s lost 24 lbs. He’s got a six-pack. He’s saying he’s going to knock him the f**k out.
“All of a sudden, this is what you get when you’re fighting AJ. People training harder, people coming with more belief, and an opportunity to completely change their life with one punch like Andy Ruiz.
“They become more dangerous, and he’s coming with confidence as well of the [Dillian] Whyte fight, which he feels he won. He feels he wasn’t really in shape compared to he is now, and ‘I didn’t believe in myself back and then, and now I do, and I’m going to take him out,'” Hearn said about Franklin.
“He was a young kid, and he gets in a bit of trouble. He finds boxing, and the next thing, he’s knocking people out,” Hearn said about Joshua. “He goes into the ABAs, and wins the ABAs.
“He gets called up to England and goes into a few tournaments. He goes into the European championships and wins a medal. He goes into the worlds and gets robbed in the finals. He’s in the  Olympics and wins gold [controversially] in London.
“He becomes one of the biggest stars in the country. He goes out and fights and packs arenas everywhere. He can’t walk down the street without people taking a photo and jumping on him, saying this, saying that.
“He wins a world heavyweight title. He fills up Wembley and Millennium Stadium, and Madison Square Garden. It’s a lot to comprehend. People will say, ‘That’s a blessing,’ and it is a blessing. Let me tell you now. That’s a hindrance as well.
“That’s not a life that he was built for. He was built to fight. He’s not built for the fame and the life that comes with it. The pressures are on another level fighting in the ring. I feel like Saudi was an explosion of the years of the pressure, the pressure, the pressure.
“‘He said that on social media. He said that. Fury is calling him out.’ It’s like my head going to explode, and that’s why you saw the tears. I like that; it’s real. I just hope now that he can be free and just express himself in the ring,” said Hearn.