Anthony Joshua steps into the ring for the first time since his loss to Oleksandr Usyk in August. This bout with Jermaine Franklin, aptly billed ‘The New Dawn’, takes place at the o2 Arena on Saturday evening and the Brit will hope it marks his successful return to heavyweight boxing.
It’s been a tumultuous few years for Joshua, who has lost three of his last five fights, but he’s looking to get back to his best in Saturday’s encounter with Franklin.
“When I fought Usyk I felt like I let a lot of people down,” said Joshua. “People said, ‘his mind ain’t in it, where’s his head at? His head’s not in the game’.
“That’s not the truth – my heart’s in the game, fully. This is all I have, really.”
The 33 year old Brit has switched trainers for this fight, pairing up with Derrick James, and he’s confident this could be the key to a change in fortunes.
“Derrick James is an ex-fighter himself. I feel he knows how to get someone fight ready and he’s pushing me in that direction,” Joshua added.
“When you’re among great fighters it helps. We’re all training at different times because there’s one Derrick James.”
Joshua v Franklin prediction and betting tip
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Off the back of those consecutive defeats against Usyk, it is certainly safe to say this is a big fight for Joshua.
The Briton is a heavy favourite to get back to winning ways, but he will likely be nervous during the early stages of the bout.
As a result, Joshua will probably use the earlier rounds to just settle into his rhythm and find his range, while keeping his opponent at bay.
Nevertheless, you would expect his quality to eventually prevail, so we’re backing him to finish the job in the eighth round.
Joshua v Franklin Odds
|Joshua to win||1/12|
|Franklin to win||7/1|
|Joshua by KO or TKO||3/10|
|Franklin by KO or TKO||11/1|
|Joshua unanimous decision||9/2|
|Franklin unanimous decision||28/1|
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Joshua v Franklin undercard
|Peter Kadiru v Hueseyin Akdemir||Heavyweight|
|Ziyad Almaayouf v TBA||Welterweight|
|Juergen Uldedaj v Michael Webster||Cruiserweight|
|Jordan Flynn v Kane Barker||Lightweight|
|John Hedges v Daniel Bocianski||Light heavyweight|
|Campbell Hatton v Louis Fielding||Super lightweight|
|Austin Williams v River Wilson-Brent||Middleweight|
|Matteo Signani v Felix Cash||EBU European Middleweight title|
|Fabio Wardley v Michael Polite Coffie||Heavyweight|
Joshua v Franklin fight date and UK start time
Joshua and Franklin are set to do battle at the O2 Arena on Saturday, April 1. The ring walks for the main event are scheduled for 10.41pm BST.
DAZN are streaming this fight live for account holders. Sign up now via this link 0r by clicking on the image below.