After losing two in a row to IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua will return to the ring on April 1 to face American contender Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena in London. The bout will be broadcast live on streaming service DAZN, with which Joshua recently signed a five-year deal. Even after dropping a couple fights against Usyk, Joshua is clearly still a red-hot product.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring on April 1st at the O2 in London.” Joshua says. “Mentally and physically I feel ready. I want to show off and impress my coach because he has high standards. Franklin has good style and great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights. This will be my first fight broadcast on DAZN in the UK and will be available globally on the platform. I want to thank DAZN for supporting myself and the sport of boxing as a whole. I would also like to thank the team at 258 and Matchroom Boxing.”
Franklin, of course, is excited about the opportunity. “I’m ready to show the world why the time has come for me to take my place at the top of the heavyweight division,” he said. “Joshua had his time. It’s my time to shock the world! This fight will not end up on the judge’s card. I will have win number 22 on April 1st. It’s not an April Fool’s joke.
Franklin was last seen in the ring in November, where he dropped a fight against Dillian Whyte after giving the longtime contender all he could handle. While the big names in the division like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder would love to meet Joshua in the ring, Joshua’s team, including promoter Eddie Hearn, clearly think it’s best for Joshua to get back into the world of bigger competition.