Anthony Joshua will face American Jermaine Franklin on Saturday, 1 April in a bid to begin his comeback trail.
Joshua has based his training camp in Texas, USA and has a new team behind him, including coach Derrick James.
“I’m starting fresh,” says Joshua, who has a 24-3 record.
In the absence of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua became Britain’s heavyweight hope. The 33-year-old won a world title in his 16th fight, with 16 knockouts.
Joshua then suffered a shock loss to Andy Ruiz in 2019. He won back his belts six months later in the rematch, only to taste the bitterness of defeat once again against Oleksandr Usyk in 2021.
The Briton replaced coach Rob McCracken with Robert Garcia for the rematch, but lost on points for the second time against the Ukrainian.
Billed as the ‘New Dawn’, Joshua’s upcoming fight against Franklin is a must-win to say the least.
The Consensus and Alex’s view
The idea that Joshua’s career is over at the highest level isn’t a farfetched one. Any fighter can lose at any given moment. You can get caught – this is combat sports after all. As shocking as the Ruiz defeat was, to Joshua’s credit he picked himself up and came back to win the second fight in a disciplined performance.
The issue here though is he has been exposed. Joshua performed better in the second Usyk fight, but was ultimately outpointed by a much more accomplished boxer twice in a row. It seems unlikely that he can compete with the likes of Usyk and Tyson Fury on a technical level.
Joshua’s best bet might be to revert back to his fierce, unforgiving self. He should find that killer instinct again and try to become the finisher he once was, instead of trying to outbox the likes of Usyk.
If promoter Eddie Hearn sets his sights on a Joshua vs Fury fight and makes it happen, it will be the biggest fight in British boxing history. The only problem is Joshua’s chances are slim to none in my opinion.
Not Giving Up
“I think that, for me, it’s all about getting him to understand who he really is and how great he really is. What his full potential really is,” said Joshua’s coach James.
Joshua says that his heart and his head are still in the sport. If he beats Franklin, then another big fight will probably materialise. Defeat again though and it could well be curtains for his career.