The former two-time heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua will have his first fight of 2023 against Jermaine Franklin on April 1st in the O2 Arena. The bout will be shown live on DAZN.
Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) looks to bounce back from two defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, with the latest taking place in August of last year. The Watford native has taken some time off and now aspires to get back to the top of the heavyweight division.
“I’m looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1 at The O2 in London.” said Joshua. “Mentally and physically I feel ready. I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards.”
Jermaine Franklin is coming off a close decision loss to Dillian Whyte in Wembley, and Joshua was in attendance to watch the bout. Franklin looks to rebound from that loss to score a victory over Joshua and become a serious contender in the heavyweight division.
“I’m ready to show the world why it’s time for me to take my place at the top of the Heavyweight division,” said Franklin. “Joshua had his time. It’s my time to shock the world! I will have win number 22 come April 1st. That ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”
This bout is a first of a five-year partnership between Joshua and DAZN, as the network will be the exclusive provider of Joshua’s fights.
“The UK’s biggest boxing star Anthony Joshua returns to our screens on April 1st as he looks to reclaim his spot as the number one Heavyweight on the planet,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “‘AJ’ has reset and refocused and he is on a mission to defy his critics as he kicks off his exciting new partnership with DAZN.”
Dmitriy Salita, who is the promoter for Jermaine Franklin, is very confident that his guy will beat Anthony Joshua on April 1st.
“Franklin did a phenomenal job against Dillian Whyte thousands of miles away from home in front of a hostile crowd,” Salita said. “That’s going to be an important factor against Anthony Joshua. Not only does Franklin have the skills, but he can function and not get intimidated by fans rooting against him. I believe that he will be physically and mentally prepared to pull off the upset.”