Tony Bellew has had his say on Anthony Joshua’s comeback opponent – Jermaine Franklin – and why it may be a good choice for the former unified champion.
Following two consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua must make smart steps towards the top of the division if he wants a shot at becoming three-time heavyweight champion of the world.
With a new training set up, the Watford heavyweight is looking to return with an emphatic victory on April 1.
Whilst not officially announced, it’s widely believed that Franklin will be the man in the opposite corner. Bellew told DAZN that it was a good match for Joshua’s style.
“You’re coming off the back of two defeats, so you’ve got to be matched up with a style that you like, and Jermaine Franklin is the smaller man. He’s someone who’s not the biggest puncher in the world and it’s, stylistically, a really good match for AJ.
He needs to start making matched that benefit him, I genuinely believe that, and this is one that stacks in his favour. Yes he did push Dillian Whyte close – I don’t think he beat Dillian Whyte, but he pushed him really close. So we’ll see. Let’s just see how it unfolds. He’s not the biggest talker, so that’s going to be a bit of a put down really.
We need to see where AJ’s at, and we need to know what’s going on in the background.”
Franklin is best known on British shores for his contest with Dillian Whyte in November of 2022. The American made a better account of himself than many thought he might, putting in a performance that some fans thought was deserving of the win.
Whilst Whyte took it on the scorecards, it’s clearly not hampered Franklin’s ability to land big fights – and he recently alluded that his ‘AJ’ matchup would be announced imminently.
As for what Joshua has to do come fight night, Bellew was clear.
“Have a good feel out for three or four rounds and then just absolutely take his head off. That’s what you need as a fighter sometimes. You just need to take someone out, and the confidence levels will rise.”
The fight is set to be made official soon.