Anthony Joshua Defeats Jermaine Franklin But Fails To Make Statement


LAGOS APRIL 2ND (NEWSRANGERS)-Was it one of Anthony Joshua’s best performances? Far from it. Was it a step in the right direction? A small one.

Joshua demonstrated that he is a level above the shorter, lighter Jermaine Franklin, outboxing the American to win a one-sided decision at O2 Arena in London. It was the former unified champ’s first victory since 2020.

That was the good news.

The bad news was that he still didn’t fight with his pre-Andy Ruiz Jr. ferocity and failed to score a knockout even though Franklin seemed ripe for one late in the fight, which left his fans disappointed and allowed questions about Joshua to linger.

At the same time, a victory is a victory. And this one could lead to big things, possibly even a shot at beltholder Tyson Fury.

“I wish I could’ve knocked him out, 100 percent,” Joshua said, “but in the next 15 years no one is going to remember that fight anyway.”

That’s true. It was forgettable.

Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) was coming off back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk, the first of which cost him his heavyweight titles.

The former champ needed to get back into the win column and, in a perfect world, make a statement in the process to put his fellow contenders on notice. The first part of that goal turned out to easy.

Joshua fought tentatively in the early rounds but controlled them, connecting repeatedly with his stiff jab and following with hard, accurate right hands to keep the aggressive Franklin at a safe distance.

Gaining confidence by the middle rounds, Joshua became more assertive. He stood his ground, even taking the fight to Franklin. He was still jabbing but throwing and landing more power shots, which began to wear down his overmatched opponent.

And anytime Franklin got close enough to even think about turning the tide, Joshua tied him up, which frustrated both underdog and those hoping to see a competitive fight down the stretch.

The only drama in the late rounds was whether Joshua could find a way to take out Franklin (21-2, 14 KOs). Joshua didn’t exactly throw caution to the wind but he continued to throw ill-intended power punchers. Franklin simply has a good chin and was determined to survive.

So Joshua had to settle for a wide decision in his first fight with respected trainer Derrick James. The official scores were 118-111, 117-111 and 117-111. Boxing Junkie scored it 118-110, 10 rounds to Two.

“For me it was all about him coming out and getting the win,” James said. “Like I said, I don’t care how he won it. I just wanted him to win. After this, we’ll come back and build and build and build. …

“… Toward the end, yeah, he looked like [Franklin[ was ready to go. I told [Joshua] to pick up the pace a bit in the last couple of rounds. That comes with time. With more and more work together, he’ll more and more be able to do exactly what I need him to do.”

Is this version of Joshua ready to take on Fury, who is generally considered the best heavyweight in the world? Well, we might find out.

Joshua was asked in the ring about what might come next. He said, “I know who the fans want. Who do the fans want?” The packed crowd at O2 loudly and clearly gave him the response he expected, “Fury!.”

“The ball is in his court,” Joshua said of his rival, with whom he engaged in failed negotiations late last year. “I would be 100 percent honored to compete for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world. … If you’re listening, you know my management, you know my promoter.

“We’ve had dialogue before. Let’s continue this and hopefully we can get this sorted out sooner rather than later. We’re not getting any younger.”

Said his promoter, Eddie Hearn: “We’re willing to entertain those conversations now, to go straight into a Tyson Fury fight in the summer. You got Dillian Whyte down there [in the arena]. You got Deontay Wilder. You got a lot of good fighters.

“I think he’s going to improve under Derrick James. There was a lot of pressure [on Saturday] and a lot of improvements to make. At the same time, he’s going to want the big fights as well.”

Only one thing is certain, according to Joshua: He’ll be back in the ring this summer. We’ll see who’s standing across from him.

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie



Short URL:

Posted by on Apr 2 2023. Filed under National, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Designed by News Rangers ICT Department