Journalist Gareth A Davies got a bit of a shock last week during an interview about Anthony Joshua’s comeback fight against Jermaine Franklin.
During an interview with SecondsOut Joshua was called over by Davies but to his surprise was put in a headlock by the former heavyweight champion.
Luckily for Davies, ‘AJ’ was only acting playfully and put little force into the manoeuvre, otherwise the Guardian would probably be in the market for a new boxing correspondent.
The jovial incident took place after the press conference for Joshua’s return against Franklin, which will take place on April 1st at the 02 Arena.
Franklin pipped the likes of Otto Wallin and Demsey McKean to the big money fight after acquitting himself well in defeat to old Joshua foe Dillian Whyte back in November.
Although Whyte was awarded the victory on the night, many felt the American was hard done by not to get the nod.
That was the first blemish on Franklin’s professional career, and Joshua can ill afford to take his eyes off ‘The 989 Assassin’ if he has aspirations of becoming a three time heavyweight champion of the world.
A big money rematch between Whyte and Joshua is reportedly set up for the summer, provided there are no hiccups on April 1st for the latter.
The Franklin fight will be Joshua’s first link up with new trainer Derrick James, and there is a hope the Texan will bring out the characteristics that made the Brit so successful in his early career.
There is a perception that Joshua has become slightly tentative since his shock stoppage to Andy Ruiz Jr back in 2019, and a host of pundits have stated that the aggressive style James instills in his fighters could be the perfect remedy to this.