In the past two years, Anthony Joshua's career has taken a downward turn, with back-to-back defeats at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian boxer outclassed Joshua in both fights, and in the first match, Usyk took his titles, which he subsequently defended.
The former champion was left devastated by the losses, but he is now ready to make a comeback. The comeback is official, Joshua will return to the ring, and his opponent will be Jermaine Franklin, reports Daily Star. The 29-year-old American boxer is best known for his last performance, where he put up a tough fight against Dillian Whyte, but ultimately lost.
Franklin may not be the most daunting opponent, with Whyte having inflicted the first defeat in his career, and his record stands at 22 wins, 14 by knockouts, but he was still defeated in the most difficult test of his career.
It's noteworthy that Demsey McKean was also in talks to fight Anthony Joshua, he was quoted saying to Sky Sports, "We are one of the frontrunners for a possible opponent for Anthony Joshua. I could be (the man to retire Joshua) and I am very confident I can do that.
But don't get me wrong, there is still more fights for AJ. If he loses to me, a top-10 heavyweight as well, that shouldn't be the end”. He added, “He is probably the biggest name in boxing, everyone is after him, including me.
It is the name to have on your resume”.
An Underwhelming Opponent
It's hard not to get the impression that this is a somewhat disappointing choice of opponent for the former champion. The top of the heavyweight division is excellent and a more competitive match could certainly have been arranged, but it is understandable for Joshua and his team, who now have the goal of winning at any cost.
Defeat against Franklin could be the end of Anthony Joshua's career, but Franklin has yet to prove himself at that level. Eddie Hearn said AJ will be finished if he loses in his next fight. "You go into that fight in April – you know that with defeat, it’s all over, really.
It would be a third back-to-back defeat," Hearn told iFL TV. "This is the most excited I have been on AJ's journey so far because it is exciting. A great performance and a showreel knockout gets everyone saying, ‘We’re back, we’re back baby.’ That’s what I can’t wait for, because I love it when our backs are against the wall. They are the best moments and this is one of those moments."
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