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Jermaine Franklin discusses Joshua resume & performances

Image: Jermaine Franklin discusses Joshua resume & performances

By Charles Brun: Jermaine Franklin isn’t entirely impressed with the career moves and some of the performances from the former two-division world champion Anthony Joshua.

Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs), who will be facing Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) on April 1st at the O2 Arena in London on DAZN, sees it as strange that AJ didn’t fight Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, despite those being two obvious matches that should have been made by this point in his 10-year professional career.

The talented 29-year-old Franklin believes it’s an example of the 33-year-old Joshua being “business savvy” by choosing NOT to fight the powerful Deontay and the goliath-like Fury.

Look at it this way. If Joshua fights both of those guys, there’s an excellent chance he will suffer knockout losses, which would be a disaster for his future earning potential.

Like an oil well starting to run dry, promoter Eddie Hearn would need to put Joshua on the secondary production phase, matching him against lesser opposition; otherwise, the crude [i.e., revenue] would quickly disappear, and he’d be forced to abandon the well.

Franklin is a go-getter, so it’s hard for him to understand Joshua not fighting Fury or Wilder because those are fights that he would have fought a long time ago if he were in AJ’s shoes.

Franklin hints about AJ ducking

“I ain’t going to say they ducked Wilder, but it was kind of strange when that Wilder situation was going on, and then he hasn’t fought Fury,” Jermaine Franklin said to The DAZN Boxing Show, discussing some of Anthony Joshua’s career.

Boxing is a lot more business savvy than a lot of people think; there’s more to it than just ‘We’re going to fight.’ AJ does have a tough resume, but there are a few questionable fights on there earlier on.”

Joshua clearly wanted no part of a fight with former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder. According to Deontay, Joshua was offered $50M, and he still didn’t take the fight, and that was years ago.

AJ could have picked the 6’7″ Wilder for April but went in the direction of Franklin, who isn’t half the puncher and is much shorter at 6’2″. Franklin is of similar size as Andy Ruiz Jr, with similar hand speed, but not as powerful as him.

Was it a smart move for Joshua not to take the fight with Wilder? It probably was because even though Joshua would have made a mountain of money in that fight, it could have been disastrous for him if he’d been knocked out.

A knockout loss to Deontay would have taken a huge bite out of Joshua’s earning potential from that point onward, and who knows what it would have done to his ability to absorb shots.

As it is, some people feel that Joshua’s chin never recovered after Wladimir Klitschko badly hurt him in their fight in 2017. Speaking of Klitschko, Franklin feels that Joshua would have lost to him if Wladimir had been a younger version of himself.

At the time of their fight, Wladimir was 40 years old and coming off a year layoff. This wasn’t the younger version of Klitschko, who had dominated the heavyweight division for ten years.

By the time Joshua got to Wladimir, he was old & past it, and his trainer Emanuel Steward had passed away, leaving him with Johnathon Bank as his coach.

“The Klitschko fight, you beat up an older Klitschko. Against a younger Klitschko, I don’t think that fight would have gone the way it did,” Franklin said.

Joshua needs a good confidence booster

“Franklin is smaller than Joshua, and he’s not the biggest puncher in the world. Stylistically, it’s a good match-up for AJ,” said Tony Bellew to DAZN. “He needs to start making matches that benefit him, and this is one stack in his favor.

“Yes, he did fight Dillian Whyte close. I don’t think he beat he beat Dillian Whyte, but he pushed him really close, so we’ll see how it unfolds. He’s not the biggest puncher, so that’s a put-down, really. We need to see where AJ is at,” said Bellew.

“The UK public now knows Jermaine Franklin from the Dillian Whyte fight, so it’s an easier sell that way,” said Ade Oladipo. “I was at the Dillian Whyte – Jermaine Franklin fight, and he surprised me with his hand speed. He surprised me as a smaller heavyweight in the land of the giants.

“Good hand speed, good jab, and solid. I think AJ needs a good confidence booster, and I think Jermaine Franklin could provide that and then let’s see in the summer in the backend of 2023.”

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