By Charles Brun: Michael Hunter labels the Anthony Joshua vs. American Jermaine Franklin clash for April 1st as a “Horrible fight” for people to watch, but he understands why it’s an important match for AJ to make, given that he’s with a new trainer Derrick James.
Joshua might be in over his head with the technically gifted Franklin, who is arguably as skilled as Oleksandr Usyk but with better hand speed, combination punching, and size. The decision by Joshua, his trainer, and promoter Eddie Hearn to choose the 29-year-old Franklin as the April 1st confidence-builder could blow up in their faces.
The former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) needs a victory in the worst way to keep his ten-year professional career on the tracks after losing his last two fights to Oleksandr Usyk, and three out of the last five fights.
AJ desperate for a win
Joshua is desperate for a win, and if he gets beaten soundly by Franklin, he might just pack it in, seeing the writing on the wall that he doesn’t have it anymore and perhaps never did. Some would say Joshua was little more than an Eddie Hearn creation from the get-go and was carefully matched, packaged like a product, and sold to the boxing public as the real deal.
Hunter doesn’t say who he would prefer the 33-year-old Joshua to fight instead of Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs), who many felt was given the short end of the stick in his last fight against Dillian Whyte on November 26th at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
One would argue that if Franklin was good enough to defeat Whyte, that more than qualifies him to face Joshua. With Franklin’s talent, he could beat Joshua and foil his bid to turn his sagging career around, which would be a complete disaster for Eddie Hearn & his Matchroom Boxing promotion.
Hearn still doesn’t have a replacement star to take the baton from Joshua to become Matchroom’s next gravy train money guy that pours money into the company.
It was thought that Conor Benn would be the guy to take over the reins from Joshua, but with his two positive drug tests, it’s clear that he’s not going to be that guy for Hearn and his company.
Can Hearn refurbish Joshua?
That leaves Hearn to take the role of Dr. Frankenstein to try and rebuild Joshua in his laboratory by matching him against the right guys so he can start winning again, keep his career going, and, more importantly, keep the money rolling in as long as possible, hoping that someone comes along that can be Matchroom’s next money guy.
“The fight, I think, is horrible. Them training? I think that’s a good fit for Anthony Joshua because of his simplicity,” said Michael Hunter to Pro Boxing Fans about AJ’s fight against Jermaine Franklin on April 1st at the O2 Arena in London.
“I think that’s a horrible fight, but I think that maybe it’s good for Anthony Joshua as a personal fight for him. I do think that. But as far as a fan fight, no.”