By: Sean Crose
After losing two in a row to now IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua will return to the ring on April 1st to face American contender Jermaine Franklin at London’s O2 Arena. The fight will be broadcast live on the DAZN streaming service, which Joshua has recently made a five year deal with. Even after dropping a pair of fights to Usyk, Joshua is clearly still a red hot commodity.
“I’m looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1 at The O2 in London.” Joshua says. “Mentally and physically I feel ready. I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards. Franklin has a good style and a great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights. This will be my first fight broadcast on DAZN in the UK and it will be globally available on the platform. I want to thank DAZN for supporting both myself and the sport of boxing as a whole. I would also like to thank the team at 258 and Matchroom Boxing.”
Franklin, of course, is thrilled with the opportunity. “I’m ready to show the world why it’s time for me to take my place at the top of the heavyweight division,” he said. “Joshua had his time. It’s my time to shock the world! This fight isn’t going to the judge’s card. I will have win number 22 come April 1. That ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”
Franklin was last seen in the ring back in November where he dropped a fight to Dillian Whyte after giving the longtime contender all he could handle. Although big divisional names like Tyson Fury, and Deontay Wilder would love to meet Joshua in the ring, Joshua’s team – including promoter Eddie Hearn – clearly think its best for Joshua to ease his way back into the world of major contests.
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