Joshua overcomes Franklin via unanimous decision to return to winning ways
Anthony Joshua returned to winning ways by beating Jermaine Franklin via unanimous decision at O2 Arena on Saturday.
Entering the content having lost three of his past five, including the last two against Oleksandr Usyk to cede his heavyweight belts, Joshua faced his first non-title fight in 12 bouts.
The Brit's camp promised a new dawn for fans of the Olympian, but, despite being in control throughout against Franklin, he showed there was still plenty of work left on his comeback trail.
While Franklin did well to shrug off some heavy hits, he never truly mustered much of a threat and the scorecards reflected what was a largely one-sided affair.
Joshua came out of his corner firing, landing a powerful left jab in the first round and following it up with further shots in the second when he countered a Franklin hit to respond with a strike to the body.
Franklin then began to grow in confidence, sensing there may be an opportunity for an upset, before Joshua came the closest he would to a knockout blow after connecting with a big right-hand uppercut but missing his left swing.
Frustration then began to show for AJ, with Franklin halting any momentum he gained by holding his opponent, and Joshua struggled to create an opening to land a strong overhand right to follow up his consistent jabs.
Both fighters had big shots in the latter rounds, with Franklin surely aware he needed a knockout to clinch victory.
But that hit never came for the American and the scores ringside reflected a routine, albeit uninspiring, win for Joshua.
Scorecards: 118-111, 117-111, 117-111