After a difficult few months since losing back to back fights against Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua will be stepping back into the ring this Saturday looking to put his recent demons behind him.
A statement victory against Jermaine Franklin is exactly what the Brit needs to put himself back among it at the top of the heavyweight division.
The American, however, comes into the fight with a renewed sense of purpose.
Jermaine Franklin out to stop Anthony Joshua
He spent almost three years away from boxing between 2019 and 2022, but now having fought three times in the last nine months, including taking Dillian Whyte all the way, the American is getting back to the place he wants to be.
Franklin has claimed to have lost around 24lbs ahead of his fight with Joshua, having weighed in at 257lbs for the Whyte fight, and he’s feeling healthier for the changes he’s made.
Franklin’s transformation is one that has left Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn in a bit of shock ahead of Saturday’s fight.
Jermaine Franklin’s body transformation stuns
“I was excited until I went downstairs and saw Jermaine Franklin having his photos taken, and all of a sudden he’s got an eight-pack,” he told Boxing Social.
“When he boxed Dillian Whyte, he had a belly on him. I’ve just seen him with his kit off – he’s absolutely ripped to shreds.
“I don’t know what’s happened. He says he’s lost 24 pounds. And I don’t know if it’s gonna help him or hinder him. Hopefully the latter, because we need AJ to knock him out in style.”
Franklin rather laughed off the exchange when asked about Hearn’s comments by Boxing Social and denied having an eight-pack.
“Nah, not yet, I probably got like a four-pack. I got to tone it up, though. I’ve just been on a health journey for myself and my family, just losing weight, changing my life, changing what I eat. The weight just was dropping off.”
For his comeback fight against Rodney Moore as recently as May 2022, Franklin had weighed in at 277lbs, so if he has genuinely lost a further 24lbs since the Whyte fight, then he’ll be weighing in much nearer to the 235lb mark. That’s some significant weight loss in a relatively short period.
Back in 2019 before his absence, Franklin had been consistently weighing in at around the 240lb mark, and so his recent transformation has him much nearer to his usual build.
Franklin will be hoping that this weight loss will help him match Joshua’s speed, giving him the best possible chance of causing an upset and AJ could be nervy given how important Saturday could prove to the future of his career.