Anthony Joshua opponent Jermaine Franklin sues own promoter days before fight

Jermaine Franklin has reportedly filed a lawsuit against his promoter Dmitriy Salita just days before fighting Anthony Joshua.

Franklin is set to box Joshua at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night (1 April), and the Daily Mail has reported that the American filed a lawsuit against Salita Promotions on 24 March. Per the report, Franklin, 29, is suing the company over the percentage of earnings that it is entitled to when it is not a ‘promoter, co-promoter or involved in a purse bid’ for a fight.

Joshua vs Franklin is being promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, while Franklin’s team has claimed that Salita Promotions has taken advantage of a situation in which its ‘only duty is to give Franklin permission to engage in a boxing match’.

However, Salita has now told the Mail that the allegations in the lawsuit are ‘frivolous and false’. The Ukrainian told the publication: “It is unfortunate that during a week that we should be celebrating an important fight, and a life-changing opportunity for Jermaine Franklin to establish himself as a top-tier heavyweight, we are speaking about a lawsuit.

“I was a fighter myself, and as a promoter I work tirelessly to build the fighters I promote and to bring them the best opportunities. Jermaine’s first fight with Salita Promotions was his first fight on national television and his career-highest payday up to that point.

“Other than a tune-up fight we arranged for Jermaine when he was coming out of bankruptcy, every fight since then has been on national television with significant paydays. His most recent fight against Dillian Whyte was again a career-high payday for Jermaine, as is this Saturday’s fight against Anthony Joshua – and in terms of smart matchmaking, both fights were against big names who have recently shown vulnerabilities.”

“These opportunities are a result of diligent, focused work on behalf of Jermaine. When Salita Promotions signed Jermaine, few in the boxing industry knew his name. Now he is a bona fide contender known all over the world and with the opportunity to change his life, and his family’s life, on Saturday night. Those are the facts.

“Regarding the frivolous and false allegations in the court papers, my legal team will address those in court, and I am confident that the truth will come out. Salita Promotions has delivered everything it promised Jermaine four years ago when we first signed him, and I look forward to him fulfilling his own promise with a great performance on 1 April.”

Despite the comments, Franklin and Salita appeared on stage together at Wednesday’s pre-fight press conference, sitting either side of the heavyweight’s coach Jesse Addison.

The Independent has approached Franklin for comment.

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