Anthony Joshua overcomes Jermaine Franklin with unanimous decision win

joshua-franklin-20230401-ftr (Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)

Going into the fight, Anthony Joshua needed to make a statement with many hoping for a vintage ‘AJ’ knockout which made him a huge star in boxing.

Under the watchful eyes of new trainer Derrick James, it was clear that the Texan wanted Joshua to utilise his devastating right hand by probing Franklin with the jab in the opening round.

Franklin tried to combat this by establishing his own jab, but whenever the American looked to go on the offensive, Joshua capitalised with some shots of his own targeting the body.

As the fight progressed through the middle rounds, Joshua’s right hand became more prevalent and while they were landing, Franklin was still standing akin to his meeting with Dillian Whyte late last year.

Credit has to be given to Franklin, the majority of fans expected him to not make it past six rounds against the former unified world champion and it looked like an early night was on the cards in the sixth when a Joshua right uppercut narrowly missed his opponent.

In heavyweight boxing, stamina is vital and despite losing a significant amount of weight for this fight, Franklin was showing signs of tiredness from round eight onwards and this led to a rather messy conclusion.

Clinches aplenty, Franklin looked to keep the fight at close range. While this strategy seemed to be working, the 29-year-old rocked Franklin with another right uppercut in the tenth.

This sparked a sense of anticipation in the sold out O2 Arena crowd for the final two rounds. They have seen these classic Joshua finishes many times before and maybe their support would be the extra boost he needed to end the fight early.

But that early finish never came, and the fight went to the judges’ scorecards with two officials scoring the fight 117-111 and the other 118-111 in the Brit’s favour.

As expected, WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s name was mentioned post-fight as a possible next opponent for Joshua and it is the one fans are crying out for.

However, it’s clear there is still plenty to develop when it comes to the relationship between Joshua and his new trainer Derrick James, and maybe pushing for a world title shot in the Summer is a step too far.

But as the sun sets on this new dawn for Anthony Joshua’s career, the heavyweight division will be grateful to see the 33-year-old return to winning ways and hopefully brings some order to boxing’s most glamorous after a chaotic couple of weeks.

Re-live the best moments from the Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin card below.


Joshua wins on the scorecards

Anthony Joshua has been declared the winner on the judges' scorecards with two cards scoring the fight 117-111 and the other 118-111 all in favour of Joshua. 

R12: Final round ends in melee after the final bell

Anthony Joshua continued to pile on the pressure with the sold out O2 Arena crowd cheering every punch. 

But Jermaine Franklin managed to stay in the fight while being rocked with numerous right hands. 

However, after the final bell, Joshua touched the back of Franklin's head which sparked the teams of both fighters entering the ring. 

Now we await the judges' scorecards. 

10-9 Joshua

R11: Crowd will Joshua towards a stoppage

An Anthony Joshua right uppercut ignited the crowd who are sensing a stoppage could be near. 

But the two-time world heavyweight champion has just one round left to end the fight early, otherwise it's over to the judges' scorecards. 

10-9 Joshua

R10: Joshua and Franklin go all in

Anthony Joshua had the perfect start, a right uppercut followed by a straight right hand rocked Jermaine Franklin. 

Now the American is frequently flinching before Joshua even throws a punch, but both men were involved in an exciting exchange which saw both fighters landing punches. 

10-9 Joshua

R9: Franklin making fight messy

As a result of his tiredness, Jermaine Franklin has resorted to making the fight messy by disrupting Anthony Joshua's flow with frequent clinches.

However, while this is not pleasing on the eye, he did manage to land a right hand on the British star. 

10-9 Franklin

R8: Franklin showing signs of tiredness

Despite losing a significant amount of weight for this fight, Jermaine Franklin is showing clear signs of tiredness as he clings onto Anthony Joshua and attempts to keep the fight at close range. 

Joshua however manages to land a few uppercuts of his own when up close and personal. 

10-9 Joshua

R7: Joshua closes with right hand

Anthony Joshua finishes a quiet round with a right hand, if he wants to make a statement, there are just four rounds to make it. 

10-9 Joshua

R6: Franklin doing well to hang in there

Jermaine Franklin narrowly missed an uppercut from Anthony Joshua which if landed would have ended the fight. 

The second half begins. 

10-9 Joshua

R5: A quieter round from Joshua

A rather uneventful round.

It's clear what Anthony Joshua is trying to do, land the right hand, but Jermaine Franklin's movement is making it difficult for any clear openings to be created. 

10-9 Joshua

R4: Franklin growing in confidence

Jermaine Franklin is growing in confidence and it shows in some right hooks to the body which landed. 

Joshua however remains in control. 

10-9 Joshua

R3: Joshua right hand becoming more prevalent

Anthony Joshua's right hand is beginning to land more frequently, but Jermaine Franklin is taking them well so far.

Joshua's movement also impressive as he frequently avoids any power shots from Franklin. 

10-9 Joshua

R2: Joshua targets body after Franklin mistake

Jermaine Franklin looked to establish a jab of his own to no avail.

In the closing stages, Anthony Joshua made some early inroads and landed some blows on Franklin's body. 

10-9 Joshua

R1: Joshua probing

Anthony Joshua has spent the opening round probing Jermaine Franklin as he looked to establish his jab. 

Jermaine Franklin is trying his best to confuse Joshua with his faints, but failed to throw anything meaningful. 

10-9 Joshua

Joshua vs. Franklin underway

The first round is underway!

David Diamante introduces the fighters

As both fighters line-up in their respective corners, it is now time for David Diamante to introduce them to a sold-out O2 Arena. 

AJ enters the arena with emphatic entrance

Anthony Joshua's entrances are always a spectacle and this was no different, but now it is time for Joshua to produce his own fireworks inside the ring. 

Jermaine Franklin en-route to the ring

Jermaine Franklin walks to the ring first and looks very calm as he attempts to produce a huge upset, and register the biggest win of his career. 


Sweet Caroline begins playing, main event imminent

Sweet Caroline has started playing at the O2 Arena, which means only one thing, the main event is just moments away!

Joshua vs. Franklin Tale of the Tape

As the main event edges closer, here is your tale of the tape. 

Premier League star spotted ringside

Big names have been spotted at the O2 Arena including Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha. 

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