Jermaine Franklin travelled to the UK twice in the space of six months as a comeback opponent for both Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua.
The previously undefeated American took both men the distance, but added the first two losses to his record whilst doing so.
Still, the general consensus is he provided not only a tough enough test for the Brits, but also was a good measuring stick for fans and pundits to recognise where they were in their careers after high-profile losses.
Speaking to Seconds Out, Franklin said that although he recognises Joshua as the better fight, he believes Whyte was the tougher test.
“Joshua was the better fighter, but Whyte probably was the tougher fighter to fight. I know that sounds crazy, but fans can say what they want to – I was in the ring.
Before I lost my cool [against Joshua] it kind of wasn’t a hard fight. It was easy to jab him, he was going back a lot, I could throw the one-two. So the first four rounds I was getting comfortable before I lost my cool.
But in the Dillian fight, no matter what I did, Dillian would try to do something. He would get rough, rugged, pushing, throwing club punches and stuff like that. Dillian probably was rougher to fight than AJ.”
Franklin said that once he was getting collar-tied by Joshua he was mentality ‘out of the fight’ because he lost his cool. The pair would carry on after the bell due to Joshua continuing to hold the American. Both teams got involved briefly.
He lost to Whyte by majority decision, but Joshua a much more conclusive unanimous decision. The idea was to pit the two winners against each other after that, but Whyte returned a banned substance in a doping test and was pulled from the fight – something Franklin criticised later in the interview.