Anthony Joshua has returned to winning ways with a unanimous decision victory over Jermaine Franklin after 12 gruelling rounds of action. He couldn’t become the first man to stop the American despite his dominant performance at the 02 Arena in front of his home fans.
It always seemed like Joshua was going to be the victor in the bout, especially when you look at the pre-fight odds. AJ was an overwhelming favourite and was backed by the bookies to knock his opponent out, not just win, but get the KO. So to see him have his hand raised felt like the only realistic outcome.
Franklin has now got two losses on his record, having previously won his last 21 professional fights, but it appears Brits are his kryptonite with Dillian Whyte also beating him, also via majority decision after 12 brutal rounds.
Anthony Joshua returns to winning ways
It had been a slip in form for AJ heading into the fight. He didn’t hide from that in the build-up to the fight, admitting he’d have retired from the sport he loves should he lose once again. His first career loss came back in 2019 when Andy Ruiz Jr stopped him.
So far, he is the only man to stop AJ, but Oleksandr Usyk performed two masterclasses, outboxing the Brit in back to back bouts, leaving him titleless and without a title shot, although after Saturday’s win, he’s surely right back in contention.
In between the loss to Ruiz and the consecutive Usyk defeats (unanimous decision then split decision against the Ukrainian), he did secure back-to-back wins. Not only did he extract his revenge on Ruiz, but he also defeated Kubrat Pulev in 2020, his last victory before the win over Franklin.
Video: Anthony Joshua wants to continue fight with Jermaine Franklin
Not how any fight should end. You need to show respect to one another after a bout, there’s plenty of beef in the build-up, but fighters always show mutual respect afterwards, but that wasn’t on the cards for AJ and Franklin.
Even after the fight, Joshua was saying he should have had the knockout and someone else will knock him out instead. He even addressed his demons with the carnage after his fight with Usyk but then continued to fire shots at his opponent.
Either way, he got the victory in front of his home crowd which is all he cares about. It wasn’t a knockout like the bookies predicted, but a win is a win. Is AJ back?!