Wednesday 16 October 2019 23:00, UK
Anthony Joshua has been welcomed to spar with Jermaine Franklin as the rising US contender has 'similarities' to Andy Ruiz Jr, says promoter Dmitriy Salita.
Britain's heavyweight star is preparing for his rematch with Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia on December 7, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and social media suggested he is sparring with American prospect Timothy Moten.
Promoter Salita revealed how Franklin nearly joined Joshua in camp ahead of last year's world title defence against Alexander Povetkin, but the Michigan man could answer the call to mirror Ruiz Jr after stretching his unbeaten record to 20 victories last weekend.
Salita told Sky Sports: "Jermaine Franklin is the best American heavyweight contender and although he is only 25-years-old, he has one of the most impressive opponent resumes of the top prospects.
"He has some similarities to Ruiz with a long and successful amateur career which has influence on his style as they are both athletic with fast hands.
"Jermaine was offered to train with Joshua for the Povetkin fight, but scheduling did not work out for him. We were not offered the opportunity for this one, but it would be a great experience to train with Anthony Joshua, one of the best and most dominant heavyweights in the division."
Joshua's team have been working hard to bring in suitable heavyweights for sparring after preparations for his last world title fight were disrupted when Ruiz Jr stepped in as a replacement opponent.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Sparring is something we've been working at. First time around we only had four weeks, and three weeks of sparring. We found guys but probably not the guys we really wanted.
"Now the sparring is top class. He is focused and looking great. Eight weeks to go."
Derek Chisora recently revealed that he offered his services as a sparring partner ahead of his big domestic clash with David Price on the Regis Prograis-Josh Taylor bill on October 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
"Sparring, yes," Chisora said. "He's tall, I'm short!
"I'm going to see him next week. He's asked me a couple of times before but I've been too busy."