Following weeks of speculation and reports, Anthony Joshua’s next opponent has been officially confirmed as Jermaine Franklin.
The former unified world heavyweight champion will look to get back to winning ways at London’s O2 Arena on April 1, giving fans a chance to see any changes he’s made under the guidance of new trainer, Derrick James.
Franklin is best known in the UK for his recent fight with Dillian Whyte – one which he lost via unanimous decision and that he later called a robbery.
It was Franklin’s better-than-expected performance that has landed him this shot at Joshua, and the American has made it clear that he’ll be coming for a stoppage this time around.
As per the official announcement, it will land on DAZN‘s regular subscription scheduling and not pay-per-view. This makes it the first fight of Joshua’s that hasn’t been a Box Office event in almost a decade, but fans will still have to sign up to the streaming service if they aren’t already.
🚨 𝗔𝗝 𝗜𝗦 𝗢𝗡 𝗗𝗔𝗭𝗡 🚨
The new dawn of @anthonyjoshua begins vs. @JermaineFrankl6, April 1.
Watch LIVE on https://t.co/FoiaUucafv as part of your monthly subscription. #JoshuaFranklinpic.twitter.com/KyfArpJxqM
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 6, 2023
More news is expected soon as to the undercard. The reaction to Franklin as an opponent has been mixed, with many calling a good comeback fight and potential confidence builder for Joshua, whilst others have branded it a step back.
It’s a must win fight for ‘AJ’, whose last two outings saw him lose the IBF, WBA and WBO belts to Oleksandr Usyk and then fail to regain them in an immediate rematch.
If his dream to become three-time world champ is to be taken seriously, he has to look good against the less-experienced Franklin.
It’s the first of a three-fight schedule for Joshua in 2023 set out by his promoter, Eddie Hearn, with a stadium showdown against Dillian Whyte targeted for Summer and the hopes of a top dog like Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder towards the end of the year. Ambitious plans that all start with Franklin.