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Bob Arum explains explains key to Joshua getting Tyson Fury summer fight

Image: Bob Arum explains explains key to Joshua getting Tyson Fury summer fight

By Barry Holbrook: Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum says that the key to Anthony Joshua getting a huge fight against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury for spring or summer in London will be for him to win impressively against Jermaine Franklin this Saturday night at the O2 Arena.

It’s not good for Joshua that he’s foolishly bulked up to a career-high of 255+ lbs for his fight against the speedy counter-punching Frankin.

For this type of opponent, Joshua needed to come in lighter, not heavier, as he’s done here. Joshua has shot himself in the foot by adding additional muscle weight to his already bulky, musclebound frame.

Joshua must impress against Franklin

Arum feels that Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) is more than capable of beating Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) in style to create the interest from British boxing fans that a bout against Fury would need.

Joshua, 33, is coming into the clash against Franklin with his career at an all-time worst, with him losing his last two fights and seemingly one defeat away from retirement. Indeed, Joshua admitted that he’d retire if he loses to the 29-year-old American Franklin, who has been hand-picked by his promoter Eddie Hearn to try and save his sinking career.

The oddsmakers have Joshua as the favorite in this fight, but he was also the favorite in his first fights against Andy Ruiz Jr and Oleksandr Usyk and lost both matches. With Joshua, he’s so flawed that he’s at risk of losing to virtually anyone in the top tier, even a fringe contender like Franklin.

Franklin got the better of Dillian Whyte last November, making the 34-year-old ‘Body Snatcher’ look older than his chronological age, and shot to pieces. In the minds of the boxing world, the judges robbed Franklin of the victory.

Of course, that doesn’t matter now because Joshua and Hearn recognized what he’d done against Whyte. Hence, they picked Franklin rather than Dillian, which infuriated the Body Snatcher.

He needs to look good, and he has to convince the English fans that he’s in there with a chance against Tyson Fury, and if he does that, which I think he’s capable of doing, then that will be a massive fight for the late spring or early summer in London,” said Bob Arum to Fighthype on what Anthony Joshua must do in his fight against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night in London to earn a fight against Tyson Fury this year.

Hearn has other plans for Joshua, saying he wants to match him against Whyte in the summer in a stadium fight in London. It’s a useless fight that most boxing fans are not interested in, but Hearn believes the British public will want to see it in large enough numbers that he’s willing to stage it in a stadium.

If Hearn has misjudged the fan interest in a Joshua-Whyte rematch, the stadium will be a ghost town in the summer and he’ll look like a fool for having wasted time & money on this outdated fight.

It would be understandable for Hearn to schedule a rematch between the two if Whyte had redeemed himself since his controversial win over Franklin and knockout loss to Fury, but he hasn’t. Whyte is just passively waiting on the rematch with Joshua, which is the wrong thing to do.

“[Oleksandr] Usyk will be fighting [Daniel] Dubois, and Frank [Warren]  will be doing that fight in England. If both of them win, we can revisit Fury and Usyk, hopefully in Saudi Arabia.

“Yeah, absolutely; otherwise, it would have never unraveled,” said Arum about the Saudi money playing a part in the Fury vs. Usyk fight falling apart. “Absent the Saudi money, there was enough money to get that fight done, and there was. The money they agreed to.

“Maybe there was a disagreement over the rematch, but I think that was just an excuse,” said Arum about the Fury-Usyk fight. “The Saudis said they like the fight, but only in the winter in November or December.  So they didn’t mislead anybody.”

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