Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin Fight Prediction, Odds, Start Time, Preview, Undercard, Expert Pick

Where do you go when you lose your place as one of the best heavyweight fighters on the planet? That’s the question facing former Unified Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua as he prepares to take on Jermaine Franklin on Saturday.

After winning the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in front of his compatriots in London, Joshua quickly established himself as one of the top heavyweights in the pro ranks. Joshua knocked out Charles Martin in the second round of his 16th professional fight to become the IBF Heavyweight Champion. Joshua won the then-vacant WBA title three fights later with a late stoppage of Vladimir Klitschko and only went two fights to add the WBO title with a decision victory over Joseph Parker.

With three of the four recognized world championships already in his collection, Joshua seemed destined to sit atop the heavyweight division for years to come. Then a fight broke out with the slightly underrated Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019 and it was the first sign that the wheels were starting to come off the Joshua bandwagon.

Ruiz knocked out Joshua—who entered the fight as over 250,000 contenders—in seven rounds, scoring one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight championship history. Joshua managed to dominate the rematch with Ruiz, regaining his titles in the process, and followed that up with a knockout win over Kubrat Pulev before facing former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.

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Once again, Joshua suffered an upset loss when he was completely outplayed by the smaller guy. Joshua entered the rematch as an underdog for the first time in his career. While he did better than the first meeting, it was Usyk who was raised again.

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Back-to-back defeats to Usyk left Joshua in a new position, outside the top of the division and not in a place where it would have been easy to get a world title opportunity. He also spoiled the possibility of a showdown with fellow Englishman Tyson Fury to be crowned undisputed champion in a fight that would have done an incredible job as the biggest showdown in English boxing history.

Joshua said in a message Interview with Sky Sports this week.

“I wonder about myself, how can I get better, what am I looking for, what is the purpose, why did I act like this (after the fight), if it happens again, how can I get better?”

Forced to rebuild, Joshua needed a “right” fight against a capable opponent who should expect him to defeat him. Enter Franklin, the +700 underdog.

Franklin won the first 21 fights of his career, including a decision victory over familiar names Riddle Booker and Jerry Forrest. This success led to a fight in London against former world title challenger Dillian White.

The battle with Whyte was a close affair that saw both men have their moments in battle very much. In the end, White took the moderately controversial majority decision, though Franklin proved he could hang with one of the world’s best heavyweights.

Franklin is now traveling to London for the second time in a row as the underdog taking on a hostile crowd.

Interestingly, Joshua also travels to his home country. Joshua began training with a new team in Texas after Usyk’s losses, looking to change his fighting style and put himself somewhat out of the spotlight that had shone on him in England throughout his career.

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If Joshua hopes to climb back up the heavyweight mountain, he can’t afford any more slips or unexpected speed bumps.

The undercard isn’t incredibly deep as this serves more for Joshua, but there will be three fights leading up to Saturday night’s main event. Austin Williams is set to return to the ring against River Wilson – Bent Middleweight. Prospect Galal Yafai is set to take his final test when he welcomes Moises Calleros to the flyweight competition. Fabio Wardley opened the festivities with a heavyweight bout against Michael Bullitt Coffey.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the fight card with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before we get to prediction and main event selection.

Joshua vs. Franklin fight card, odds

Anthony Joshua -1100 Jermaine Franklin +700 heavy weight
Austin Williams -1600 River Wilson Bent +900 average weight
Jalal Yafei -1200 Moises Calleros +750 flyweight
Fabio Wardley -1100 Michael Bullitt Coffee +700 heavy weight

prediction

Moving to Texas to work with Derrick James indicates that Joshua understands where he stands and the importance of doing things the right way if he’s going to make another run at World Series glory. He weighed in at 255 pounds, but looked totally ripped, not bloated or out of shape in the least.

Franklin is the antagonist here for a reason. He’s talented enough to win if Joshua really is having a night out, but not so talented that he’d have to be really competitive if Joshua shows up ready to go. It took a tremendous effort by Franklin to get a losing majority decision against a lackluster version of Dillian Whyte, which doesn’t bode well against a fighter in Joshua, who is much better than Whyte. The real question is if Joshua is looking to prove a point and set an example for Franklin, or if he’s just playing it safe to go the distance. Choose: Anthony Joshua via TKO3

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