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Anthony Joshua Ready to “put his heart” into Boxing for Fight with Jermaine Franklin

Anthony Joshua ready to put his heart into boxing in presser for fight with Jermaine Franklin featured image
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Anthony Joshua of England and Jermaine Franklin of the USA go head-to-head as promoter Eddie Hearn looks on during the Anthony Joshua v Jermaine Franklin Press Conference at the Hilton London Syon Park on February 09, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Former unified Heavyweight world champion, Anthony Joshua, lightly addressed the claims of him being ‘finished’ in the sport of boxing at the press conference (on February 9th) of his fight with Jermaine Franklin which will be held at the O2 Arena on the 1st of April.

“What happened is that people question where people’s heads at, like… is his head in the game?” Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KO’s)said in the presser. “So many fighters go to the gym everyday, but there’s a difference when you put your heart into it.

“And I had to get rid of a lot of distractions and things in my life so I put my heart back into the game. ” Joshua affirmed.

When questioned on the work he’s done with his new trainer, Derrick James, both he and his trainer seemed loathe to share any information on their work in the gym. James, who has recently been confirmed as Joshua’s head trainer, seemed as confident as Joshua when it came to what he could do in the ring, and with his career.

Anthony Joshua ready to put his heart into boxing in presser for fight with Jermaine Franklin image 1
Derrick James during a press conference at the Hilton London Syon Park. The Heavyweight clash between Joshua and Franklin will take place at The O2 on Saturday April 1. Picture date: Thursday February 9, 2023. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I think that he’s been great. I don’t talk about what I’m most impressed with cause that’s a giveaway, but he’s a great fighter, man. Great athleticism, great foot movement and very intellectual, first and foremost. I think he understands the sport and understands what I’m asking him to do. But his hand speed is great, and I can’t wait to keep going.”

Anthony Joshua’s previous trainer was the experienced Robert Garcia, a former world champion and highly-decorated boxing trainer who is also the brother of retired professional, Mikey Garcia. Garcia was hired not long after Joshua’s first loss to Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO’s) in 2021 and resumed the duties of Joshua’s former longtime coach in Rob McCracken for a short period. While Joshua did show some relative improvement with Garcia, he still ended up losing in the rematch with Usyk by majority decision, and the two eventually parted ways afterwards.

Against Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KO’s), Anthony Joshua hopes to make progress towards world title contention again through a victory against a prime and eager fighter. The American Heavyweight himself was not shy to back himself in his chances against Anthony Joshua.

“I have always been confident in myself, I never lacked in confidence.” Franklin said. “I got the utmost confidence. I think I can beat anybody. That’s never a doubt in my mind.

“If you doubt yourself, you’re in the wrong sport. This ain’t the sport for that. I got the confidence to pull this victory out.”

Jermaine Franklin’s last match against Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KO’s) saw him receiving plaudits for his gritty yet skillful style of boxing that some fans and critics believed was good enough for him to come away with a win. Despite Whyte edging the fight with a majority decision, Franklin said on multiple occasions that he believed he won the fight.

Dmitry Salita, Franklin’s promoter and former pro boxer himself, seemed similarly positive of Jermaine Franklin’s chances against Anthony Joshua.

“AJ (Anthony Joshua) has been most of the dominant Heavyweights of this generation.” Salita said. “To us, the fact that we got this fight shows that Jermaine is the unofficial winner of the fight with Dillian Whyte.

“This fight is about trajectory. Jermaine, in his professional career, has beaten many unbeaten fighters before.” Salita continued.

“On April 1st, that’s fool’s day in the United States, the critics are going to be fooled and Jermaine is going to be the winner.” The boxer-turned-promoter confidently declared.