Anthony Joshua after his victory over Jermaine Franklin/Photo: Anthony Joshua/Facebook
British-Nigerian fighter Anthony Joshua has returned to the path of victory on Saturday, beating Jermaine Franklin to stage a comeback after string of losses. He however failed to secure the knockout he would have so craved on his much-anticipated comeback at London’s O2 Arena.
The two-time heavyweight world champion bounced back from consecutive damaging defeats by Oleksandr Usyk and effectively saved his career by defeating the American in a unanimous decision victory with wide scores in his favour of 118-111, 117-111, 117-111,
Joshua had vowed to go into retirement if he lost to Franklin in one of the most important matches of his career.
On his performance, he added: “It’s important to get the win. Someone else will knock him out probably, from Britain I reckon. But Jermaine’s got a good duck and dive style.”
This is his first win since December 2020 when he was stopped by Kubrat Pulev.
In a fresh call-out of his long-time rival, Joshua said, “You know me, I like to provide for the fans. I know who the fans want. Who do the fans want? They said Fury? The ball is in his court, I will 100 per cent be honoured to compete for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world.
“I stand here and say that proudly, it would be an honour, so wherever you are if you’re listening. You know my management, you know my promoter.
“We’ve had dialect before, so let’s continue this and hopefully we can get this on sooner rather than later. We ain’t getting any younger.
“I don’t study my weight, I was sparring 13-15 rounds and felt good. I wish I could come around and speak to every single fan because I appreciate you all.”
In Saturday’s co-main event, another Britain vs America heavyweight battle, Fabio Wardley added the vacant WBA Continental title to the British belt he won against Nathan Gorman last year with a confident stoppage of Michael Coffie.