Barry McGuigan has emphasised the importance of Anthony Joshua’s comeback fight against Jermaine Franklin on April 1st, stating that a convincing win against the American could “resurrect” Joshua’s career.
If Joshua is defeated, however, McGuigan made no bones about the fact that he felt that be too great a setback for ‘AJ’ to return from.
In a recent interview with Pro Boxing Fans, the former world champion said:
“If Joshua can beat Jermaine Franklin convincingly, or better still knock him out, then he’s resurrected.
But if he loses, it’s the end.
He needs a devastating performance. I don’t know he can knock Franklin out, but if he could, then that would really send a message to the division.”
Franklin is a familiar name to UK fight fans, after giving a good account of himself in defeat to Dillian Whyte back in November – a fight some felt the Michigan man was unlucky not to get the victory in.
‘The 989 Assassin’ was chosen over the likes of Demsey McKean and Otto Wallin as Joshua’s opponent, reportedly due to new trainer Derrick James’ desire for his latest charge to take on an orthodox fighter.
The Brit goes into the contest as a firm favourite, and can set up a big money rematch with old foe Whyte should he get past Franklin in just under two month’s time.
Joshua can ill afford to look past Franklin, however, as a third consecutive defeat would almost certainly put to bed any aspirations he has of becoming three time heavyweight champion of the world.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has stated the contest will be the first of three planned outings for his prized heavyweight in 2023, culminating in a mega fight with either Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder towards the end of the year.