Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin confirmed as British heavyweight seeks much-needed win

Anthony Joshua will face Jermaine Franklin in London on 1 April, as “AJ” attempts to bounce back from two straight defeats by Oleksandr Usyk.

In falling to Usyk on points last August, Joshua failed to recapture the heavyweight titles that he lost to the unbeaten Ukrainian in 2021, when he also suffered a decision defeat.

Now the Briton will look to rebuild towards a world title shot, and his first hurdle will be a clash with Franklin at the O2 Arena in April.

The American, 29, was undefeated until he suffered a controversial, majority-decision loss to Dillian Whyte at Wembley Arena in November – as Joshua watched on at ringside.

Prior to that contest, Franklin was 21-0 with 14 knockout wins. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Joshua is 24-3, with 22 of his victories having come via stoppage.

Joshua reacted to the announcement of his bout with Franklin by writing on social media, “A new dawn.”

The Olympic gold medalist last secured a win in December 2020, beating Kubrat Pulev via TKO in the ninth round at Wembley Arena. He then took on Usyk in September 2021, surrendering the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles with a decision defeat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Eleven months later, in his most recent bout, Joshua was outpointed by the southpaw in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Joshua’s only other professional loss came in 2019 against Andy Ruiz Jr, who shockingly stopped AJ to end the Briton’s first reign as unified heavyweight champion. Later that year, Joshua beat the Mexican-American on points to regain the belts.

Joshua vs Franklin will be the Briton’s first fight in over eight years not to air on pay-per-view in the UK; instead it will be available to stream as part of DAZN’s monthly subscription package.

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