Anthony Joshua is a former two-time heavyweight champion.
He’s lost three times in his 27-fight professional career.
Joshua is fighting Jermaine Franklin this Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, Eng. He’s a big favorite to win.
The pressure is on. A win is paramount for his fistic future. A future that should end if he’s defeated, according to former cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson.
“If Anthony Joshua loses, he jacks in,” Nelson said on Sky Sports. “If he doesn’t jack in, he should jack in because it’s a hard mountain to climb, especially when you’re getting out of from silk sheets. When you’ve had the success that he’s had, so he can’t afford to lose.”
Nelson has a point. Joshua is 33. Not old for a heavyweight, but Joshua is a different animal altogether. I’ve sensed for years that boxing and Joshua are not a love match.
He talks about money, but not winning back his belts.
“I like making money,” said Joshua last month at a press conference.
“Straight up. This is a prizefighting sport.”
An honest retort, but not one you hear from many boxers. Most dreamed of winning world titles for years.
Joshua’s rant after losing the second time to Oleksandr Usyk last year was bizarre and revealing. He even tossed a couple of belts out of the ring.
But on a human level, I felt for Joshua. He fought hard and still came up short. The result wasn’t a surprise. Joshua is not a great fighter. He’s a good one for nowadays.
Jermaine Franklin lost a disputed decision to Dillian Whyte a few months ago. A draw appeared more realistic. Franklin came to win–while Whyte is nearing the end.
Franklin is determined to make his second chance at glory a winning one.
“It would be an excellent moment for my career (beating Joshua),” Franklin said. “I got the will, I got the heart for it, so I’m ready to go to war as always.”
Many have questioned Joshua’s confidence.
Franklin has no issues with his own self-belief.
“I’ve got the utmost confidence,” Franklin said. “I believe 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.”
Franklin can flash fast hands for a heavyweight. He’s knocked out 14 of 21 opponents. His power seemed relative against Whyte.
His pre-fight theory is that Joshua does not like to be hit.
“From everything I watched, he doesn’t like to get touched a lot,” said Franklin during an interview with Tru School Sports. “So just hitting him will frustrate him a lot.”
“Basically, I’m going to go in there and stay busy, get him out of his game plan. We’re going to be ready for whatever. It doesn’t matter if he wants to box or if he wants to brawl.
Brawling? No, Jermaine.
Joshua will have trainer Derrick James in his corner this weekend. James is a good trainer, but he can only do so much.
It will be up to Joshua.
He’ll get the job done.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
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