Get your boxing tips for this Sunday morning’s vital heavyweight showdown between former unified world champion Anthony Joshua and Jermaine Franklin.
Boxing Tips – Anthony Joshua V Jermaine Franklin
- Joshua – 24-3 (22 wins by KO/TKO)
- Whyte – 21-1 (14 wins by KO/TKO)
- Joshua lost to Oleksandr Usyk – Split decision (12 rounds) – August 20, 2022
- Franklin lost to Dillian Whyte – Majority Decision (12 rounds) – November 26, 2022
AJ is back 🥊 #JoshuaFranklin
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— Palmerbet (@PalmerbetAU) March 29, 2023
Final thoughts: As Tyson Fury negotiations for a heavyweight title bout with undefeated champion Oleksandr Usyk stall, another pair of the division’s big dogs face a make or break showdown after suffering last-start losses.
Anthony Joshua lost his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts to Usyk by unanimous decision in September 2021. Granted a rematch in Saudi Arabia last August, ‘AJ’ was thwarted by a split decision result.
After 21 straight victories, Jermaine Franklin suffered the first loss of his career in London in November. Franklin went down to Dillian Whyte (who was coming off a TKO loss to Fury) by majority decision.
The 29-year-old Franklin had not fought anyone close to Whyte’s standing previously, but he earned something of a moral victory in an absorbing slugfest. It was the American’s first 12-round fight but he went toe-to-toe with Whyte from the opening bell to the end. He appeared to tire four rounds in but got a second wind after the halfway mark and landed some hurtful blows.
One judge scored the Wembley Arena bout a 115-all draw, with the other two awarding it 116-112 to Whyte.
Handing a coveted date with Joshua left Whyte, who was seeking a rematch, incensed. But it’s a reflection of Franklin’s gallant performance in what was a major step up in opponent quality. Nevertheless, he’s a $9.00 longshot to upset Joshua.
Joshua, the $1.08 favourite, was vastly improved in his second crack at Usyk after being comprehensively outboxed in the first. He worked the body far more (37 punches compared to just 15 in the initial bout) and fought with greater intent and ferocity. But Usyk set a record by an ‘AJ’ opponent by landing 170 punches, to Joshua’s 132.
One judge gave the fight to Joshua 115-113, the others to Usyk 115-113 and 116-112. To say the 33-year-old took the decision poorly is an understatement.
With the obvious exception of Fury and Deontay Wilder, Joshua has fought pretty much every high-profile heavyweight of the past decade. The 2012 Olympic champion’s 24 pro wins include 22 KO/TKO finishes. He’s knocked out Whyte and Vladimir Klitschko, and got a convincing decision over Joseph Parker. After being stunned by Andy Ruiz in 2018, he came back and beat him by unanimous decision eight months later.
But after back-to-back defeats to Usyk – making it three in his past five fights – a loss to Franklin in his first non-title bout since 2015 would be catastrophic for Joshua. Possibly career-ending. A win, though, puts him back in the frame to return to boxing’s bigger spotlights.
Joshua is a skinny $1.26 to win by knockout. He’s only had to go the distance four times in his career, though he’s been to the ninth round or beyond seven times in his last nine fights. The $6.00 about a Joshua win by points or decision is much more enticing value for punters, given Franklin has never been stopped and will be even better for the 12-round run with Whyte.