Anthony Joshua will return to the boxing ring on Saturday evening, April 1, although he’ll be hoping he isn’t the subject of any jokes. Instead, he is focussed on getting his career back on track with a five fight plan set out for him after this bout should he win.
It includes clashes with the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, but he has work to do on Saturday evening first. It looks like it will be a walk in the park for the former heavyweight champion, with the bookies pricing him as an overwhelming favourite.
They also expect AJ to knock his opponent out, marking a triumphant return to the ring. However, we can’t just go off the bookies, anything can happen in sports. Upsets aren’t uncommon and on the day, nothing is a full drawn conclusion.
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin weigh-in
Jermaine Franklin is AJ’s next opponent, looking to bounce back from a crushing defeat also. He lost via majority decision at Wembley when fighting Dillian Whyte. But, both men have made headlines at the weigh-in, giving us a fascinating battle on Saturday night.
Infamously, AJ’s rant after his Usyk loss saw him say how hard it was for him given how heavy he was. You’d be fair to expect to see him shed some pounds ahead of his return, but that isn’t the case. Not only has he got heavier, but he’s the heaviest he’s ever been for a fight.
He has hit the scales at 255.4lbs and will surely be looking to secure a KO victory. If he struggles with his weight when a fight goes the distance then he’ll be up against it on Saturday. Franklin on the other hand, is lighter than the Whyte bout, and by 23lbs. The dynamic of this fight will be very intriguing.
Video: Anthony Joshua and Jermaine Franklin weigh-in
It’s the first time for a long time that AJ is going into a fight where he isn’t the champion or facing the champion.
His recent form has damaged his stock in the heavyweight division as things stand, although a win on Saturday would see him regain some credibility in the division and look towards bigger fights once again, no disrespect to Franklin is intended, but AJ wants title fights.
So does Franklin, so if he can upset the apple cart against Joshua, then he could see his career completely take off and take him to new heights in the heavyweight division.