"We hope to get the deal over the finish line to help Jermaine bring his lifetime dream to fruition," promoter Dmitriy Salita hopes to finalise terms soon for Jermaine Franklin to face Anthony Joshua in London on April 1
Wednesday 25 January 2023 06:04, UK
Anthony Joshua is 'nearing a deal' for a fight against Jermaine Franklin, with the American's promotional team hoping to finalise the bout 'very soon.'
Franklin has emerged as the preferred opponent for Joshua's next heavyweight fight, which is expected to be scheduled at The O2 in London on April 1.
Dmitriy Salita, Franklin's promoter, has confirmed to Sky Sports that negotiations are 'moving in the right direction' and he is hopeful of reaching a final agreement for the Joshua fight.
"Jermaine is a world-class heavyweight from Michigan in America, who is on his way to bringing a big win back home," said Salita.
"We hope to get the deal over the finish line to help Jermaine bring his lifetime dream to fruition."
Franklin made his UK debut in November, earning credit for a hard-fought majority decision loss to Dillian Whyte, which was the first defeat on the 29-year-old's 22-fight record.
Australian Demsey McKean and Sweden's Otto Wallin, two southpaw contenders, had previously been linked with Joshua.
But the British star appears to have opted for the 6ft 2in tall, orthodox fighting style of Franklin, following back-to-back losses to the masterful southpaw Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua's second world title reign was ended by a unanimous decision loss to Usyk in September 2021, while the Ukrainian retained the WBA, IBF and WBO belts with a split decision victory in their rematch last August.
Talks are at an advanced stage for Usyk to share the ring with WBC king Tyson Fury in the next few months.