Jermain Franklin: “If Joshua Can’t Clean Up His Remaining Flaws In A Derrick James Camp We Are Going To Exploit Them”

By James Slater - 02/12/2023 - Comments

Once-beaten heavyweight contender Jermain Franklin knows better than anyone that a win over former two-time heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua would very likely springboard him to a shot at a world title. Coming off that close, debatable decision loss to Dillian Whyte, Franklin of Michigan says he will capitalise on the flaws Joshua has – those flaws that Franklin says he will be looking to see are still there despite AJ hooking up with another new trainer in Derrick James.

Speaking with Metro, Franklin, 21-1(14) says he will “wake up” more fans with a winning performance on April 1.

“I have always been looked down upon and I have always turned around and proved people wrong so I am not bothered by things like that,” Franklin said in response to the critics who see him as nothing more than a tune-up opponent for Joshua.

“It is just more people that I have got to wake up. A win for sure takes me up there and puts me in that world title conversation. A win here, maybe another couple after that, gets me that title shot but this win definitely puts me in the conversation. Some of them [flaws] he has cleaned up on a bit but some of them [Joshua] still has. So if he can’t clean them up in a Derrick James camp we are most definitely going to exploit them. You never know what kind of fighter you are going to face or what kind of fight you are going to walk into.”

This fight is very much must-win for both men. Another loss would, in the opinion of some, end Joshua’s time as an elite fighter. For Franklin, a second loss would send him to the back of the line as far as getting further big-fight opportunities. As a result, fans are hoping to see a good fight on April 1. Franklin showed his toughness and ability in the Whyte fight – this a fight Franklin feels he won, with him saying “hundreds and hundreds” of fans messaged him saying he won the fight – and he is no easy mark for Joshua.

Can AJ, 24-3(22) improve under latest coach James, or has the former two-time champ peaked, having got as good as he is ever going to get? Will Franklin be able to fight his fight on April 1? Will we see a KO, one way or the other? There are indeed quite a few questions going into this fight.