Tony Bellew has given his immediate reaction to Anthony Joshua’s performance against Jermaine Franklin.
Joshua secured a wide points victory against the American, in his first fight since back to back losses against Oleksandr Usyk.
AJ himself admitted he was hoping for a knockout return, and a stoppage victory would have undoubtedly silenced some of the critics.
Speaking to iFL TV, Bellew, who was ringside for DAZN commentary duties, thought Joshua looked ‘apprehensive’.
“I thought he was measured, I thought he was patient, but I’m not going to lie, I wanted to see a knockout but ultimately he didn’t get one because he was patient tonight and he was thoughtful and he was apprehensive.”
Bellew expects performances to get better the more time Joshua spends working under new trainer, Derek James.
“I just spoke to Derrick James and he was calling for him to put his foot on the gas, next time he will do it because then he’ll have more belief in this man, have more trust in the man.
Building trust comes only with time, trust does not come over night, he’s only spent 8 weeks with this man. His gas tank was brilliant tonight, it wasn’t a slow paced fight, for a heavyweight fight it was reasonably paced. Really good jab, improvement in the body work, I liked the faints.
The main thing is, there are a lot of positives for AJ to take away tonight. His confidence levels will rise. He’ll be back and back stronger.”
Some pundits think hopes of an all-British blockbuster against Tyson Fury have taken a hit without a statement performance. Dillian Whyte, who was far from impressed with his rivals performance, now looks the favourite to face Joshua next.