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Is it Now or Never for AJ as He Takes on Jermaine Franklin?

Anthony Joshua. Photo credit: Sky Sports

We have some excellent boxing events to enjoy in 2023 and one of the biggest to take place in London is between Anthony Joshua and Jermaine Franklin. This fight will be contested at the O2 Arena on the 1st of April and it will be the third time in four fights Joshua has fought in-front of his home fans. Franklin does not have much experience boxing outside the United States but it will not be the first time he has fought in the English capital, having taken on Dillian Whyte at Wembley Arena. This is a big occasion for both men but is it now or never for AJ as he takes on Franklin?

The Betting Odds

At the time of writing, the betting odds have Joshua as the overwhelming favourite to emerge victorious from this fight and get back to winning ways. Franklin is the clear outsider in the eyes of the bookies and that is due to the fact he lost his only previous fight abroad to White, with all his other contests taking place in the United States. A draw is rare in boxing and that is reflected in the betting odds for this fight. A draw is even more unlikely in this case, where one boxer is the clear favourite to win.

Most of the big operators have lots of markets open already for the fight, and there is no better way than to back a winner than on one of the apps to bet on boxing, where you can bet on any number of outcomes including total rounds, knockout and many more exciting bets.

What the Fight Means for AJ

Joshua comes into this fight on the back of two successive defeats courtesy of Oleksandr Usyk. It is fair to say Joshua’s career has taken a huge blow in recent times and the British boxer has lost two of his five most recent fights. Joshua simply cannot afford another defeat if he wants to have another crack at the major titles, so the pressure is on. If we look back at Joshua’s professional career, he won the first 22 fights and held each of the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles simultaneously. The win over Joseph Parker in Cardiff back in 2018 was a huge moment in Joshua’s career and he will be hoping to have another opportunity to lift the biggest belts in the heavyweight division. This is a tough fight to take on for Joshua as he is expected to win, so a victory will not lead to wild celebrations or thoughts he is back at the top. However, a loss could signal the end of any chance Joshua has of getting back to the top of heavyweight boxing.

No Pressure on Franklin

A look back at the career of Franklin shows he has fought mostly in the United States, without facing many big names. He does have just the one defeat in his professional career but that came at the hands of Whyte in London, which does not bode well for this contest against Joshua. Franklin lost the fight to Whyte by majority decision and five of his last six contests have gone all the way. Franklin knows he is not expected to win this fight but that makes him a dangerous opponent and one that Joshua must respect if he wants to get the job done.

Joshua Keen to Put on a Show

Joshua is the huge favourite to win this fight and he will be keen to not only entertain the fans but show his punching power. To really show he means business, Joshua needs to win this contest by knockout and that is how this fight could end. If we look back at some of the most recent successes in Joshua’s career, all five of his most recent stoppages have come between the 7th and 11th round. Franklin has gone all the way in most of his recent fights and that suggests if Joshua is to knockout his opponent, it will come late in the contest.

AJ needs a big performance to get himself back where he wants to be in the heavyweight division, or it could spell the end for his boxing career. The Olympic gold medallist needs more than a grinding win if he is to get the fans back on his side and gain momentum again.