For unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is on course to return against America's Jermaine Franklin in April; after two consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua will be seeking his first victory since beating Kubrat Pulev in 2020
Monday 6 February 2023 16:18, UK
Anthony Joshua and Jermaine Franklin have 'agreed all terms' for a heavyweight fight in London on April 1.
Joshua and Franklin will go head to head at a press conference next week after reaching an agreement for their fight.
Joshua was formerly the unified WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight but lost his belts to Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and failed to reclaim them in a second consecutive decision defeat when he rematched the Ukrainian in August of last year.
He parted ways with trainer Rob McCracken after his first loss to Usyk and linked up Robert Garcia for the second contest.
The Briton, however, is expected to announce another new trainer for the Franklin fight.
The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist is now at a critical stage in his career and looking to rebuild with his first victory since beating Kubrat Pulev in 2020.
He will now take on Franklin, an American who is also coming in off a loss.
Franklin saw a majority decision go against him when he boxed Joshua's former opponent Dillian Whyte in London in November, his first fight in the UK.
That is the first loss on the 29-year-old's 22-fight record but his battling effort against Whyte was a creditable performance.
Olympic silver medallist Richard Torrez provided some expert analysis on Joshua's next fight.
"I am interested to see Joshua. I'm interested to see how he comes back," Torrez told Sky Sports, "how he comes at the fight stylistically. If he chooses to be the boxer Joshua, I think it's going to be a really good fight. Or if he tries to just sit down and throw or just kind of muscle something.
"It really comes down to Joshua now. I don't think it's going to be a fight between two people. It's going to be a fight between Joshua and himself. If he comes out there and he does what he's supposed to do and he has the gameplan necessary, I think he'll take the fight. And if not, it's all up to him."
It has been said that Joshua is caught between fighting styles. Torrez agrees to an extent.
"I think a little bit and I think that's a tough position to be in and that's why I'm really thankful to have my coach, my dad who I've had since day one," he explained.
"If my dad tells me to drop my hands and quack like a duck, I'm going to do it. And it's really hard if someone's in the corner that you can't fully trust. It's hard to gain that trust if you don't have those years [going] back. I think any fighter that changes a coach or any fighter that switches up a little bit is going to have that doubt in the back of their mind.
"It's really hard to be able to overcome. You see some fighters that are able to do it like Cotto and some of these guys. I think it's a challenging thing for anyone to be able to accomplish.
"If he does, he will turn out a better fighter."
Watch Richard Torrez vs James Bryant on the Emanuel Navarrete undercard live on Sky Sports Arena at 2am on Saturday morning.