Anthony Joshua wishes he had started boxing earlier
Ahead of Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin on Saturday, Betfred’s Lightweight Boxing Show have been speaking to both fighters, as well as Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, regarding what’s next for them after the fight, AJ’s experience and what he has to do to fight Tyson Fury.
Here are some of the best quotes from the interviews:
Anthony Joshua’s thoughts that he’s relatively inexperienced as a professional boxer compared to other fighters at his level:
“This is what was said about Lawrence Okolie. He’s had 18 amateur fights and 19 professional fights, so even though he’s defending his title, you can see that he’s still learning. I’m going into the fight with pure confidence because I’m aware of the work I’ve done and that’s the approach I have to take.
“I do wish that I had started as a professional when I was younger and I had more fights, but the reality is, that didn’t happen. It didn’t give me a false sense of confidence because imagine being moved at a rate where I fought a whole load of people that weren’t at the level that I needed to be tested at. Then I get to this other level where the competition is better and I’m not used to it. Yes, I haven’t had many fights, but the fights I’ve had have been tough and challenging. Firstly, I wouldn’t shy away from a challenge and secondly, it’s helped me build character and it’s shown me what it takes to be at the top level of boxing. That’s helped me a lot.”
Eddie Hearn on why the fight against Jermaine Franklin is huge for Anthony Joshua:
“People watching the fight at the O2, or on DAZN, will be more nervous about this fight than any fight he’s ever been involved in. I will be as there’s a lot of unknowns. Where’s he at physically and mentally? How robust is he? How’s his chin? What we do know is that he’s got desire, ambition, a great new trainer and that he’s the fittest he’s ever been in his career, but it just comes down to that moment. There’s a huge amount of pressure and he can just say that it’s another fight, but I’m sorry, because on one hand, you can knock out Franklin and be in a position to fight Tyson Fury, and on the other hand, if you don’t look good, or you lose, then your career is over.
“I just want him to get on this run of momentum and he made a good point in the press conference when he said that belts can sometimes stall your career. You see it now with Oleksandr Usyk, he’s got three mandatories, his undisputed fight fell through and he’s probably not going to have another fight until June, July and the last time he fought was September last year, so he’s going to have had two fights in two years. With no belts involved, AJ can just get active, begin to enjoy it again and I want to see him knock seven kettles of sh*t out of someone.”
Eddie Hearn on what’s next for Anthony Joshua if he defeats Jermaine Franklin:
“If he goes in there and produces an impressive performance, the whole of the UK would say, “Fury vs AJ. Now.” There’s no excuses. There’s no mandatories, there’s nothing, but he needs to produce a performance. A labouring win? I’ll take it, but it’s not what we’re after.”
Jermaine Franklin on boxing in the UK:
“The UK’s had a reign on the sport for the last few years, so it’s only right that we come over here and try and take it back. I have no problem with travelling to fight. Boxing used to be a bit more global back in the day, so it would be nice to bring that back. I’m starting to build a fanbase over here and I like how the fans are in the UK.”
Jermaine Franklin on what’s next for him if he beats Anthony Joshua:
“I’ll be a top five, top ten heavyweight in the world. As long as we can negotiate the right deals, then I’m not going to duck anybody. Boxing needs to give back excitement, like how it was when big fights were made. I’m still waiting on the Errol Spence Jr. vs Terence Crawford fight and if I was rich enough, I’d pay them both to fight. That’s how bad I want to see it.”
Jermaine Franklin on whether he wants Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk, if he’s to beat Anthony Joshua:
“Both. Either one. I just want to continue to stay at the top and keep fighting the top fighters.”
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