By Sam Volz: Jermaine Franklin says he’s going to be trying to “brutally” dominate Anthony Joshua on April 1st in their headliner on April 1st on DAZN at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) says he learned from the last time he was in the UK against Dillian Whyte last November that he needs to really put it on his opponents to ensure he gets the victory and going against the British star Joshua. It’s even more important that he does that.
Joshua will be fighting for the first time with new trainer Derrick James, and it’s likely that he’s going to be looking to go to war. James trains Frank Martin, Errol Spence Jr, and Jermell Charlo; those fighters are known for having aggressive styles.
This is the perfect time for Franklin to be catching Joshua with him fighting in a reckless manner, and he might be able to duplicate the same success that Andy Ruiz Jr enjoyed when he took advantage of AJ coming out slugging against him in their first fight.
The 29-year-old Franklin doesn’t possess the same type of power as Ruiz, but he’s a better combination puncher and has superior handspeed.
Franklin plans to stop or brutally dominate Joshua
“I’m comfortable. I fought a lot of people in their backyards. It’s nothing new,” said Jermaine Franklin to talkSPORT Boxing when asked about his thoughts on fighting Anthony Joshua at the O2 Arena in London on April 1st.
“If it’s not a knockout, then it’s a domination brutally,” said Franklin when asked if he believes he can knockout Anthony Joshua. I go at him and see what he’s going to do and see if I can get him to make mistakes early,” said Franklin when asked what is he going to do when the bell rings in round one against Joshua.
“Every fighter is different. We game plan for every fighter as we receive it. We don’t really look at it like, ‘I did this in this fight. It means I can do the same thing in the next fight,’” said Franklin when asked if there was anything from the Dillian Whyte fight that could carry over to the Joshua match-up
“I’m pretty sure there are some things that we can capitalize off of, but we’re looking at this in a whole different light. I’m the smaller guy, so I have to come forward. I’m pretty sure there are going to be times when he’s coming forward and trying to be physical.
“I think I fight great going backward. I think that’ll be great for my game plan. We’re going to strategize going forward. Just making him uncomfortable. He’s a man, just like I’m a man. That’s how I look at it,” said Franklin.
Jermaine wants to exploit AJ’s recent “scars”
“He does have accolades. He has done a lot in his career and in the boxing world, but he’s a man just like I am,” said Franklin about Joshua’s accomplishments.
“I can’t really speak on that. I don’t know what he thinks, but hopefully, if there are scars, hopefully we can expose them in the fight.
“I watch a lot of boxing. I’m a huge fan of the sport period. I watch a lot of fights. I noticed that he struggles with smaller guys, and he likes to trade at points in the fight,” said Franklin when asked what he noticed from watching Joshua’s fights with Andy Ruiz.
“I’ve been just looking at that and looking at ways that we can attack and adjustments we can make to make him more uncomfortable. Yeah, I get passionate in the heat of the moment,” Franklin said when told that he was doing a lot of exchanges with Whyte.
“I never really ran away from it. I’m one of those guys that will go back and forth with you. My biggest thing is being safe. Boxing is a brutal sport, so you have protect yourself in there and do it the smart way.
Beating Joshua would be huge
“It would mean a lot for my career. It would put me up there with the other heavyweights and stake my claim as a top heavyweight,” said Franklin when asked what a win over Joshua would do for him. “It would do a lot for my career. I’m not a guy that shies away from the competition.
“I want to bring boxing back to the exciting days when everybody was fighting each other. I think that’s what my boxing is missing. We’re trying to bring it back. We’re making some good fights. We’re trying to bring it back.
“I want to be one of those guys that fights the best. I don’t want to sit back and fight tune-ups. I want to fight the best guys that I can. Yeah, a lot of them are British. A lot of them are writing me on Instagram and stuff like that,” said Franklin about him gaining a lot of new fans.
“I was very grateful for it. I kind of needed that because I was very upset after the decision. The people kind of made me feel welcome, and I embraced it. My coach gave me that nickname [‘989 Assassin’].
“I can’t remember what fight it was, but I think I fought in North Carolina. When I came out, they introduced me as that, and I was a little surprised at first. Ever since then, it’s stuck with me.
“The people back home liked it. I represented my hometown. It’s just a lot of pride in where I’m from and a lot of support from where I’m from. It kind of stuck with me.
Franklin will be trying to knock AJ out
“Yeah, we’re coming over on Saturday,” said Franklin about him coming to England on Saturday to acclimatize for the Joshua fight on April 1st. “We’ll be there Sunday morning, I think.
“I’m trying to knock AJ’s a** out. There’s no prettier way to say it. I respect him, and I respect what he’s done for the sport. I respect him as a fighter, but this is the hurt business.
“They say they’re going to knock me out in four rounds, so I want to see what it’s about.
“England is a great atmosphere. They love boxing. I got a lot of love the last time I fought out there [last November against Dillian Whyte]. I don’t think it’s going to be 100% him, but I’m ready for it. I love the atmosphere England gives.
“I don’t know what the judges were watching. The Compu-Box said different from what the judges scored,” said Franklin about the controversial scoring of his questionable 12 round majority decision loss to Whyte last November at the Wembley Arena.
“This is boxing. I didn’t expect to get a fair shake when I went over there. 7-5 in my honest opinion,” said Franklin when asked what he scored his fight with Whyte.
“I see myself as 22-0. I don’t take that as an L. I take that as a learning experience. I’m an honest man. If I felt I was defeated, I wouldn’t have no problems. When I watched the footage again, it doesn’t seem like he pulled the fight out.
“This time, I have to make it more dominating to where the judges can’t deny me anything,” said Franklin.