Anthony Joshua is poised for his return to the ring this weekend as he faces Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena in what is surely a must-win fight for the British heavyweight.
Despite this crucial bout for AJ on Saturday night, he is clearly already looking ahead to future bouts, having told reporters that he would like to face Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, and Joe Joyce before he retires from the sport.
That is quite the statement considering his career could be all-but over should he lose Franklin.
Big fights aren’t happening in boxing right now
Boxing has come under intense scrutiny lately, with big-name fights touted and quickly removed from the table. The latest bout to fall by the wayside is Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk – a lot of discussion from both men, but ultimately coming to nothing.
Boxing needs a shake-up. Big-name fights like Joshua has hinted at must happen for the sport to get back on track. Sadly, however, it seems the egos are getting in the way of potential bouts and stringing fans along.
AJ had been on course to face Wilder when they were dominating the division several years ago. The four-belt unification fight fizzled, though, out as Joshua turned down a staggering $50 million offer to fight ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in Las Vegas, according to Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel.
Anthony Joshua returns to resurrect his career
Joshua has been out of action since the 2022 rematch against unified world heavyweight champion Usyk. He now finds himself in a position he is not used to. For the first time in his professional career, Joshua must try and rebound from back-to-back defeats.
Perhaps now is not the right time to be talking about other fights. Joshua must keep his focus on Franklin to avoid another defeat. A loss this weekend could spell the end of Joshua.
Thinking about potential fights against Wilder and Fury before a massive fight isn’t the wisest way to prepare. The former heavyweight champion must be mentally ready to get his career back on track. Overcome Franklin – then he can talk about taking on Wilder, Fury, and Joyce.
Fury vs Joshua is a fight that British boxing fans have longed for. Despite chatter from both camps, nothing has ever materialised.
Fans will be hoping that this changes should Joshua be victorious on April 1st.