Former WBA featherweight champion, Barry McGuigan has given Anthony Joshua a stern warning ahead of his make-or-break comeback fight, against American heavyweight, Jermaine Franklin.
Joshua has had a tough couple of years, losing his unified world titles and then failing to win them back in the rematch against Oleksandr Usyk. Now he starts his journey back to the top of the division and he will have a different coach for the third fight running, appointing WBA Trainer of the Year, Derrick James, as his new cornerman.
James trains world champions Errol Spence Jr. and Jermell Charlo and fans hope he’ll get ‘AJ’ back to the aggressive style that saw the Brit win his first world title in 2016.
In an interview with Seconds Out, 2005 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, McGuigan, explained that Joshua needs a statement win, in order to silence his critics and a loss would be ‘game over’.
“It is interesting that we can compare it with Dillian Whyte [performance against Franklin] and we can see whether or not Anthony can get him [Franklin] out of there, which will tell us an awful lot about Anthony. It will tell us whether he can put the combinations together and get him out, whilst Dillian Whyte couldn’t.”
“If he can blast the guy [Franklin] out in four or five rounds, it will be very impressive. If he struggles to a ten-round decision and has a couple of bad patches in the fight, well then we might think something different.”
“I think if he loses, then it is game over.”
Joshua will go face Franklin on April 1st at the O2 Arena in London, where he will top an undercard featuring Craig Richards and Felix Cash.