Prior to 2021, Joshua had combined the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight championship belts. Nevertheless, he was skilfully outpointed by Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Joshua was once again facing Usyk but with a new trainer, Robert Garcia, in his corner. Even with the change, he was still unable to secure a win in the rematch that took place in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua’s last victory came against Kubrat Pulev back in 2020, and this time around, he has a new cornerman with him, Derrick James.
When asked about his return to the ring, Joshua said: “I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards. Franklin has a good style and a great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights. Mentally and physically I feel ready. I’m looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1.”
His opponent Franklin suffered his only defeat as a professional coming out on the wrong end of a majority decision at the hands of Dillian Whyte.
Despite this being the case, Franklin is seen as a tune-up as Joshua rebuilds himself following back-to-back defeats against Usyk, which may explain why talks over a Tyson Fury fight broke down.
And that is why the response on social media was underwhelming.
— Pro Boxing Fans (@ProBoxingFans) February 7, 2023
Nah, He's just going a world tour with different Coaches in his corner. Never heard of Jermaine Franklin….
— Jorge Flores (@JrgFlores1) February 7, 2023