Eddie Hearn nervous about Joshua’s fight against Franklin on April 1st

By Boxing News - 03/20/2023 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua’s fight on April 1st against the inspired, upset-minded American Jermaine Franklin has promoter Eddie Hearn highly nervous, sweating bullets about this risky fight for the come-backing AJ at the O2 Arena in London.

As Hearn points out, Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) “must win” against Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs), as he’s lost his last two fights, and a third consecutive defeat could be game over for the prideful 2012 Olympic gold medalist.

Hearn hasn’t said what he’ll do if Joshua loses the fight to Franklin. Provided that Joshua doesn’t retire on the spot, Hearn will need to carefully plan a comeback route to return him to his winning ways.

Taking an active role in Joshua’s coaching, Hearn could convince Joshua to sack new coach Derrick James and get a trainer more focused on defensive fighting than the offensive side.

With Joshua’s poor chin and stamina, choosing a coach known for turning out sluggers is the wrong guy for his built-in flaws. You couldn’t think of a worse coach for Joshua if you tried, and we may be going to see Joshua fall apart against Franklin because of that.

Losing this fight could be the final straw for the 33-year-old Joshua, as he’s not going to let himself become a joke in the eyes of fans and wind up being looked down on by the people that at one time greatly admired him.

Joshua’s career hanging in the balance

Most would agree that the 29-year-old American Franklin was given shabby treatment from the judges on his last trip to the UK when he dominated the popular but limited fading British fighter Dillian Whyte, appearing to beat him 9 to 3 in rounds, and wound up losing a 12 round majority decision last November at the Wembley Arena in London.

This time around, Franklin realizes that he’s got to take the judges out of play for him to ensure he gets the win, so he’s going to be looking to take the popular Joshua out to avoid getting a repeat of what happened last November against Whyte.

“It was great. He’s worked so hard out there in camp. I’m nervous,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about Anthony Joshua’s fight against Jermaine Franklin on April 1st at the O2 Arena in London.

“You see, all of a sudden, they’re going to train twice as hard. They want this more than any fight. You look at Jermaine Franklin. He looks like a new man,” said Hearn.

Given how good Frankin looked against Whyte, it’s positively insane for Joshua to be fighting someone this talented. Franklin is like a better, more disciplined version of Andy Ruiz, and we already saw what he did against AJ when he was in reasonable shape in their first fight.

Joshua likely would have lost the rematch against Ruiz in December 2019 if Andy didn’t balloon up to an obese 283 lbs after slacking off in training camp.

Franklin looks in great shape

“He looks like he’s down about 30 lbs, and he’s absolutely flying in camp,” said Hearn about Franklin. “That’s what you get. They step up,” Hearn continued about the talented 29-year-old American Franklin, who is younger, faster, and possesses better stamina and punch resistance than Joshua.

“AJ must win this fight, and I believe he’ll win the fight, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy. All the pressure is on him in this fight, and that’s nerve-wracking.

“On the undercard, Fabio Wardley has a really good fight against [Michael Polite] Coffie, who was regarded as a stop prospect coming through in the American heavyweight scene as well.

“Felix Cash is going for the European middleweight title against [champion Matteo] Signani, and Ammo Williams will be in his face all week fighting River Bent, which is a great opportunity for him. Campbell Hatton as well on that card. Lots of others, and I’m looking forward to it,”  said Hearn.