Joshua vs Franklin: Jermain Says He “Takes Points Off Joshua” For Suffering Two Defeats To Usyk

03/27/2023 - By James Slater - Comments

Once-beaten heavyweight contender Jermain Franklin gets the biggest fight opportunity of his career on Saturday night, when he faces former two-time heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua. Make no mistake, this fight is very much seen by most as ‘The AJ Show;’ a fight Joshua has to win and will win. It’s the latest comeback in the career of Joshua, and in Franklin he has picked a solid if not too dangerous foe.

Or has has?

This is the big question; even Eddie Hearn admits he’s nervous going into Saturday’s fight. Franklin, 21-1(14) is sure talking a great fight, saying he will KO Joshua and that he will taunt him in the ring as the fight progresses. Speaking with Sun Sport, Franklin said he only talks trash when the fight starts. Franklin also said that he “takes points off Joshua” as a result of the two defeats AJ suffered at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk, a former cruiserweight.

“I want to frustrate my opponent in the ring. I talk trash in the ring but not before the fight,” Franklin said. “I might call him [AJ] soft or a p***y. I do it in the ring, in the clinches. I told Dillian Whyte he was weak and too soft. [But] until someone can show me that AJ is finished, I will not question him, he has done too much. As a fighter, I cannot turn on him when he is an Olympic gold medal winner who reigned as a world champion for a long time. I take points off Joshua for losing to Usyk twice, because he was only a cruiserweight who moved up. But if Usyk never loses then AJ’s stock goes up. However, if Usyk gets beat in his next fight, then it will look bad on AJ.”

Just who Usyk will fight next remains to be seen now that the Tyson Fury fight is dead. Getting back to Saturday’s fight, Joshua, working with new trainer Derrick James, SHOULD get the win, with it being more a matter of how he gets it. Will Joshua, 24-3(22) come out with a purpose, looking to get a statement KO win? In the interest of the heavyweight division and of seeing more big fights involving Joshua, let’s hope so. But if Joshua comes out gun shy and tentative and is content with a decision win, then the critics will have plenty to say.

Joshua has been pretty quiet leading into Saturday’s fight, while Franklin has done his best to big-up his own chances. Tickets have sold but it took time. Joshua needs to look explosive on Saturday. But can he do it?

YouTube video