Jermaine Franklin has lost a reported 24lb ahead of his fight with Anthony Joshua – and it has promoter Eddie Hearn nervous about what to expect come fight night.
Following two consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua is on the comeback trail looking to impress fans and warn heavyweights that he’s still a big threat on the scene.
This chapter of his career begins with Franklin, a 21-1 fighter from Michigan, USA. The American boxer has arrived in London for fight week sporting a trimmer figure than when UK fans last saw him out against Dillian Whyte in November of 2022.
Hearn gave his reaction to Boxing Social.
“I was excited until I went downstairs and saw Jermaine Franklin having his photos taken, and all of a sudden he’s got an eight-pack. When he boxed Dillian Whyte, he had a belly on him. I’ve just seen him with his kit off – he’s absolutely ripped to shreds.
I don’t know what’s happened. He says he’s lost 24 pounds. And I don’t know if it’s gonna help him or hinder him. Hopefully the latter, because we need AJ to knock him out in style.”
🗣️ “HE’S ABSOLUTELY RIPPED TO SHREDS”@EddieHearn can’t believe @JermaineFrankl6’s body transformation ahead of his clash with @AnthonyJoshua this Saturday 😳
— Boxing Social (@boxing_social) March 27, 2023
Before an extended break from the sport beginning in 2019, Franklin regularly made around 240lb on the scales – and it’s only in his two most recent bouts that have seen him heavier.
He was 277lb against Rodney Moore in his comeback bout, and then 257lb against Dillian Whyte six months later. He impressed fans by winning rounds and going the distance against the Brit, and many left the fight believing he had done enough to win.
As an unknown threat last time out, Franklin is expected to show more good body work, quick combinations and the ability to go the distance should he need to. The difference here – and perhaps the explanation for his weight loss – is that he’s not taking this fight off the back of working at a roofing company.
The Whyte loss is the first on his record, but it hasn’t stunted his opportunities in the sport – as made clear by the Joshua fight.
It’s one the American is clearly taking seriously, not content with the likely life-changing purse for showing up but looking for a career-changing victory on top.