Fighter turned promoter Dmitry Salita believes the current top three US heavyweights are, Deontay Wilder, Jared Anderson, and his guy, Jermaine Franklin. Franklin – who returned to winning ways on Saturday night, this with a points win over Isaac Munoz Gutierrez, the victory following Franklin’s decision losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte – has a “great future” according to Salita.
Salita, speaking with Boxing Social, bemoaned the fact that there are “not a lot of good American heavyweights” out there right now, and he said he feels Saginaw’s Franklin, 22-2(14) is right up there behind Wilder and Anderson. Salita said Franklin is ready for a fight with “Wilder, Andy Ruiz (who is Mexican-American of course), [Filip] Hrgovic, or [Zhilei] Zhang.”
Franklin has shown durability and toughness in his recent fights but now the 29 year old needs a big win if he is to achieve his lofty goal of becoming a world champion. Interestingly, when speaking with IFL TV on Saturday, Franklin said he would be very much open to a fight with Daniel Dubois. The problem is, Dubois, along with Hrgovic and Zhang, has a next fight all set. Wilder and Ruiz may or may not fight each other, but if they do that’s another potential option for Franklin off the table for now.
Can Franklin get himself another big fight, and can he win it?
“He’s young, he’s hungry, he’s on a roll of success. From November to now, his life has really changed,” Salita said of Franklin. “He’s had three significant opportunities, three significant paydays, and his life has really gotten better. It’s beautiful to see the fruits of his labour, and to get a victory back home, after these two significant fights (AJ and Whyte) is really special. I really believe he will advance his career and get more big and significant fights.”
Salita says he believes Franklin has improved as a fighter after those 24 rounds in the UK and now after picking up a win over the previously unbeaten Gutierrez. Maybe he has indeed, but can Franklin win over the fans and become a genuine attraction? Or is Franklin destined to become the reliable B-side, the guy who puts up a good showing but ultimately loses? It’s up to Franklin to show he is more than that. A win over a Wilder or a Ruiz would of course be great for Franklin, but can he get himself those kinds of fights?
Is Franklin one of those fighters who is generally seen by the opposition as too much risk/too little reward? It will be interesting to see where Franklin goes from here and who he does fight next.