Eddie Hearn has responded to rumours that Jermaine Franklin is the frontrunner to land an April fight with Anthony Joshua – and admitted the American was in the mix.
Hearn says he is baffled by online criticism of Franklin as a potential opponent for Joshua, citing his credible performance against Dillian Whyte last November.
Speaking exclusively to Boxing Social, Hearn said:
“I think Jermaine Franklin is a great fight. Nothing’s signed or agreed yet, but Franklin’s just come off the back of a very close fight with Dillian Whyte, and some people felt like he won that fight.
I’ve seen the majority of responses from sane people on social media, who are saying “that’s a good fight to come back to.”
I just don’t understand some people’s criticism of ‘AJ.’ He’s just fought Oleksandr Usyk twice. If he fights Demsey Mckean, Otto Wallin or Jermaine Franklin – I don’t understand what more people want. He’s coming back, working with a new trainer and getting a foothold in the heavyweight division.
Jermaine Franklin is a dangerous fight, he’s full of confidence and coming off a great performance against Dillain Whyte. So we’ll see if it’s him.”
The mystery new trainer referenced by Hearn appears to be Derrick James, with numerous reports circulating online over the past week that Joshua has begun camp at the Texan’s gym.
James boasts the likes of Jermell Charlo and Errol Spence Jr in his stable, so the match up may be perfect for bringing back the ‘old Joshua’ that fans have been clamouring for.
A blockbuster summer rematch with old foe Dillian Whyte is believed to be in the offing for the former unified world champion, provided he successfully emerges from his comeback bout this spring.