Lennox Lewis, the last undisputed heavyweight champion, has had his say on Anthony Joshua’s comeback fight against Jermaine Franklin, for which ‘AJ’ has come in at a career heaviest.
Before this week’s weigh-in, the most Joshua had posted on the scales was 254lb against Carlos Takam in 2017 (10th round TKO) and the fight prior to that (Wladimir Klitschko, 11th round TKO) he was 250 on the dot.
For Franklin – a small heavyweight by today’s standards – the Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time unified world champion has weighed in at 255lb.
Whilst many believe Joshua will arrive at London’s O2 Arena to do a job on the American in the first half of the fight, others believe the weight will take its toll as the fight goes on and if the stoppage can’t be found.
Asked by a fan if ‘AJ’ is over weight and under prepared, Lewis couldn’t be sure but the number on the scales was enough to ‘concern’ him.
“Hard to say but it is concerning.”
Hard to say but it is concerning.
— Lennox Lewis, CBE, CM (@LennoxLewis) March 31, 2023
Whilst ‘The Lion’ – who’s had a rocky relationship with ‘AJ’ in the past despite respect between the two – thinks the weight is something to keep an eye on, he believes Franklin is the right fight at this stage and that Joshua will do well from it.
“One thing at a time. Coming off losses he needs to get his confidence back. I think this weekend should be the beginning of that process.”
“He just needs a good win. For the public, they may want or need to see something convincing. I don’t know Franklin’s level… so convincing or not isn’t the point. If AJ loses, it’s disaster, if he wins, it’s just one step toward rebuilding.”
“I don’t know much about Franklin, but AJ needs a fight at home, in his element, to get his confidence back after losses. Any smart trainer/team would do this. I think it’s a good move and he should show well.”
Joshua faces Franklin in London tonight, and fans worldwide can tune in live on DAZN.