WATCH LIVE: Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin London Presser

02/09/2023 - By Michael Collins - Comments

Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) will be returning to his old stomping grounds at the O2 Arena in London, England to take on the young upset-minded Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs), who will be playing for keeps when the two meet in the headliner LIVE on DAZN.

Joshua vs.Franklin launch press conference live from London, United Kingdom:

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Interestingly, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is using the American Franklin as a confidence booster fight for the former two-time Joshua to return to his winning ways after losing consecutive fights against Oleksandr Usyk.

If things go badly for the 33-year-old Joshua, Hearn will be second-guessed by the British fans, who will be playing Monday morning quarterback and trashing the move of putting the mentally & physically fragile AJ in with Franklin.

Joshua needs a victory in the worst way at this point in his career because he’s fallen apart since his first meeting with Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

AJ’s record in his last five fights is a lowly 2-3, and his only two wins were against an out-of-shape 283-lb Ruiz and a 40-year-old Kubrat Pulev.

Joshua looked like he was walking on eggshells in both fights, seemingly afraid of getting nailed by a shot or fighting hard for fear of gassing out yet again.

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Hearn navigating Joshua towards world title

“Yeah, potentially. You got Dillian Whyte, you got Deontay Wilder, and you’ll see what happens with Fury,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing when asked if the plan for Anthony Joshua is to face Dillian Whyte in a rematch in July.

“The plan for AJ is to see him become world heavyweight champion again, and we’ve got to try and navigate him to that path. People talk about the Francis Ngannou fight and stuff like that.

“If there’s no opportunity to fight for a world title, maybe we look at that as well, but it’s about activity now; it’s about enjoying himself. He’s pumped up and ready to go, and he’s ready to light up the O2 on April 1st.

“It used to be the stomping ground,” said Hearn about Joshua fighting at the O2 Arena against Franklin. “The debut, Kevin Johnson. I think they were on a pay-per-view card. Gary Cornish was a great night.

“I think that was the first title in the Commonwealth title. The British heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte, the world title challenge against [IBF heavyweight champion] Charles Martin. The defense [Dominic] Breazeale. [Denis] Bakhtov was there as well.

“For a long time, that was home for Joshua, that was the lion’s den, and I think it’s going to be emotional for him to return there. I think he’s going to really enjoy being back at the O2 Arena,” said Hearn.

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