Emotional Anthony Joshua explains erratic behaviour after defeat
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Eddie Hearn has fired back at critics of Anthony Joshua’s comeback fight. The Watford powerhouse is set to return to the ring on April 1 at the O2 Arena, London with Jermaine Franklin the current frontrunner to box AJ next.
Franklin, who lost a narrow majority decision to Dillian Whyte in November, has been described as a ‘knock-over opponent’ by esteemed boxing writer Gareth A Davies in a recent comment piece. The Telegraph article entitled ‘Anthony Joshua’s next opponent shows how far he has fallen’ ruffled a few feathers at Matchroom HQ and now Hearn has retorted.
“I’ve seen the majority of responses are from sane people who say, ‘that’s a good fight to come back to, a dangerous fight’ and some say it’s a mismatch,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “I saw Gareth A Davies’ article in The Telegraph which was baffling.
“I just don’t understand some people’s criticisms against AJ. He’s just fought Oleksandr Usyk twice. If he fights Demsey McKean, Otto Wallin, Jermaine Franklin, I don’t understand what more people want when he’s coming back and working with a new trainer and getting a foothold back in the heavyweight division.
“Jermaine Franklin is a dangerous fight for Anthony Joshua, he’s full of confidence coming off a great performance against Dillian Whyte and we’ll see if it’s him, but AJ is in camp now over in America. He will go April 1 at the O2 Arena and I expect an announcement probably next week.”
Demsey McKean and Otto Wallin are also believed to be in the mix to box Joshua next. However, both are southpaws which doesn’t lend well to AJ’s current predicted career path.
The two-time world heavyweight champion has his sights set on Whyte, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury before he hangs up his gloves – all of whom are orthodox fighters.
“Demsey McKean is still in the mix but you’re right, the link-up with a new trainer will mean that a southpaw fighter twice is not ideal,” Hearn added. “At the end of the day when you look at the future for Anthony Joshua, the future really revolves around Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte – they’re three orthodox fighters. So, it is likely he will face an orthodox fighter next.
“I think Jermaine Franklin is a great fight and people say, ‘oh it’s definitely Jermaine Franklin’, nothing is signed or agreed yet but at the end of the day, Jermaine Franklin is coming off a fight where it was a very close fight with Dillian Whyte, some people felt like he won that fight.”
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