Franklin’s bout arrives on the back end of an extremely close match with Dillian Whyte, which in truth, could have gone either way. But with a record of 21-1, the American heavyweight contender (who has 14 knockouts under his belt) quickly took advantage of the chance to participate in another monster clash.
Franklin, who is 29 years old, expressed feelings of nostalgia for the heavyweight fighters of the 1990s, highlighting one former champion as a source of particular admiration.
In his comments to Talksport, he said: “Most of my favorite guys are old. My favorite heavyweight of all time is Evander Holyfield. I like the older generation of boxers, I feel like – no knock on nobody now, but in those eras, the statue of man was different.
“It’s a little shaky now, but those guys were warriors. Everybody wanted to fight each other, nobody ducked people for money, and it was none of the extra stuff that comes with boxing. I kinda miss that. I wanna bring that excitement back to the sport.”
In Joshua, Franklin will be facing another throwback fighter. Despite his back-to-back losses against Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua has a resume to rival the best of them.
Prior to his losses to Usyk, the Brit’s list of opponents were impressive: Victories over Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz Jr (rematch) and Kubrat Pulev followed.
Franklin knows he is up against it, but with question marks appearing over Joshua’s mentality, as well as working under his new trainer Derrick James, Franklin has nothing to lose, but everything to gain.