Three possible outcomes for Antony Joshua after Jermaine Franklin fight


Promoted Post

With Anthony Joshua making his return to the boxing ring this weekend, the world waits patiently to see which version of the former heavyweight champion they will get. A figure of inconsistency over the last few years, it’s fair to say that Joshua arrives at the capital, his hometown, at something of a crossroads. Defeated in consecutive bouts by Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, the latter resulting in a strange post-match speech that visibly demonstrated his frustration, Joshua will have to prove to everyone he still has was it takes as he fights Jermaine Franklin.

His opponent, boasting an impressive 21-1 professional record that includes 14 knockout victories, has had to wait patiently for his chance. The American arrives in London as an underdog amongst the odds for Joshua fight but his sheer explosiveness means the fight could turn at any moment. Redolent of Andy Ruiz, who famously ended AJ’s unbeaten run back in 2019, Franklin will provide a tough challenge for the Brit as he looks to get his career back on track.

Many expect Joshua to have his hand raised at Wembley but where does he go from there? Regardless of the result, let’s take a look at three possible outcomes for the heavyweight as he puts it all on the line in his first fight this year. Read on to find out more.

The road to the world title

Tyson Fury looked to be the dream fight for Joshua before his losses to Usyk back in 2021 but it looks like he’ll have to put the hard yards in before he gets back to that level. Fury and Usyk looked to square off themselves at the end of April but again that fight is put on ice. Assuming he disposes of Franklin with relative ease, there is potential for a bout with Deontay Wilder, and the Bronze Bomber’s knockout power and size equal that of Joshua, making for an interesting bout. At 33 though, you wonder if Joshua’s days of competing for titles are behind him.

Hanging up the gloves

Defeat to Franklin would surely spell the end of Joshua’s time as British boxing’s poster boy. It would be four losses in four years for a fighter that was so dominant as a heavyweight for so long and wins against the likes of Alexander Povetkin, in the twilight of their careers, do little to justify his case as being one of the country’s best. Promoter Eddie Hearn has admitted that any hopes of a world title would be in tatters if he is unable to pick up the win at Wembley.

“For AJ, there is bundles of pressure,” he said. “He’s back at the O2. He hasn’t boxed there for seven years. It’s where it all started for his debut and it’s a must win fight.

“I want to see the destructive Anthony Joshua that we all love to watch. But, Franklin is going to put up a tough task. ‘Defeat would be devastating. So for that reason I think he tries to distance himself and say it’s just another fight but we all know there is a lot on the line on Saturday.”

One last dance

AJ could just as easily decide to call time in the fight after Franklin if he feels his performance doesn’t warrant another title shot. It would be a chance for him to celebrate what was still a brilliant career in front of his hometown fans and to fight with no pressure, as the reaction to Usyk really said it all about his inability to cope with a loss. Joshua would bow out as one of the best heavyweights the country has produced and regardless of the opponent, it would be a chance for one last chance to lace the gloves and feel the warmth of the crowd.