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Saturday, April 1st is arguably the biggest fight of Anthony Joshua’s career. Once heralded as the darling of British boxing, Joshua has lost three of his last five fights, and if he is to ever unify the heavyweight championship time is desperately running out.
Despite being the heavy favourite against American Jermaine Franklin, this Saturday’s fight will be no walk in the park. Franklin arrives in the UK having lost just once in his career and will be more than confident of causing an upset.
Joshua to put it all on the line against Franklin
When Anthony Joshua steps into the ring at London’s O2 Arena this Saturday night the stakes couldn’t be higher. Before the contest, Joshua has already spoken that defeat this weekend will see him end his career. Once predicted as the man to finally unify the heavyweight division, it would be a mightily sad end to a career that promised so much.
However, if Joshua can emerge victorious from this weekend’s bout there are a plethora of potential huge earning opportunities that could await the man from Watford.
With Tyson Fury’s next opponent not yet chosen, rumours have circled this week that if Joshua can work his way past Franklin then the eagerly awaited contest between Fury and AJ could finally take place.
Other possibilities could be a showdown with another former World Champion, Deontay Wilder or even a third clash against the man who took his titles, Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua hoping another change in trainer can spark an upturn in form
This will be the third fight in succession that Joshua will have a new man in his corner.
Following his last defeat to Usyk, Joshua and his camp made the decision to split with Robert Garcia after just one fight. AJ’s decision to look for a new trainer came after he had already decided to part ways with Rob McCracken, the man who had helped him to Olympic and World glory.
Choosing to stay out of the limelight in the lead up to this fight, Joshua decided to work with Texas based trainer Derrick James.
A true student of the game, James was a professional fighter but only had a modest record of 27-7. However James has enjoyed a terrific amount of success outside of the ring, and has risen to notoriety training the likes of Errol Spence and Jermell Challo.
Under James’s guidance, Chello became the first man to unify the Super Welterweight division since 2004, while Spence has long been regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Thanks to his work with both Chello and Spence, James was recognised as the trainer of the year back in 2017.
Under the expert tutelage of James, many will be hoping to see a slicker and smoother version of AJ. Criticised for being slow and cumbersome in his last few fights, there will be hopes that he would have acquired some new boxing skills to go along with his awesome natural power.
Joshua still has time on his side to cement his position as one of the greatest heavyweights that Britain has ever produced. However in order to go down in history, he simply must win this weekend.
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