Eddie Hearn ‘nervous’ about Anthony Joshua’s fight with Jermaine Franklin

Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has admitted he is ‘nervous’ about the heavyweight’s upcoming fight with Jermaine Franklin.

Joshua will box the American at London’s O2 Arena on 1 April, as the Briton looks to bounce back from two straight decision losses to Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua, 33, lost the unified heavyweight titles to Usyk in September 2021, and the unbeaten Ukrainian overcame “AJ” again in August to retain the belts.

Ahead of Joshua’s comeback against Franklin, who lost a narrow decision to Dillian Whyte in November, Hearn told Talksport: “I’m a promoter, I’m hyping the fight, but I am nervous.

“We saw the emotion after the last fight [when Joshua gave a frustrated monologue in the ring].

“Sometimes the reason I speak so passionately about people is because I like them and I believe in them. I take it very personally when AJ gets criticised, because the resume, the willingness to make fights...

“Of course his star has fallen, but he’s a man who in my opinion is an elite heavyweight – top-three heavyweight in the world – and I’m sorry if that’s such a crime.

“He makes more sacrifices and commitments than any athlete I’ve seen, and he’s my mate. I’m so pumped for his return.

“I want him to go in there, I want him to enjoy life, I don’t want him to be sad.”

Hearn also suggested that Joshua will ‘absolutely’ be out of options if he loses to Franklin, 29, who was unbeaten prior to his controversial defeat by Whyte.

Whyte, who is also represented by Hearn, is among the potential next opponents for Joshua, according to the promoter.

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