Anthony Joshua explains heated altercation with Jermaine Franklin after final bell
Two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (25-3, 22KO) found himself losing his cool again following the final bell after decisioning Jermaine Franklin (21-2, 14KO) in his comeback fight at the O2 Arena in London last night.
After a dominant win over American Franklin, Joshua admitted his ego was to blame for his altercation with American Franklin after the bell last night.
The Brit comfortably outpointed Franklin in a lacklustre 12-round heavyweight contest, with arguably the most intense moment being their heated row after the fight had finished. But Joshua insisted he has respect for his rival after their meeting, telling reporters that both men were simply overcome by the heat of battle.
A frustrated Joshua tapped Franklin on the back of his head, after the final bell sounded, to which the Michigan man turned around to confront AJ, which is when Joshua leaned into him pushing him backwards then he nudged his left glove into Jermaine's face before the corner teams rushed into the ring.
“He wanted to win and round by round we are talking to each other," he explained of the altercation during his post-fight press conference. "I am pushing his head and s***, so there is a bit of ego and pride that happens in the ring. It just spills over into the final bell. That’s all it is but it is all respect.”
And in a later interview with Boxing Social he confirmed that it was a mutual "love for the sport" from the pair that caused emotions to spill over. "Realistically, yeah, that's it," he told the outlet when the idea was suggested. "For you personally, you're watching it but for us that's involved in it there's a lot of pride.
"So it's just me and him, it's not about you or anyone else. You're just watching it, you can have your opinion but you're just watching it and me and him? We've got our own little back-and-forth. We're talking throughout the fight and then it carried on afterwards."
In another altercation, somehow Tony Bellew got caught up in a scuffle with Franklin's trainer Lorenzo Reynolds which was quickly split up by the security team.
Now, Joshua appears to be planning two more fights this year; with Fury and Deontay Wilder both potential opponents as well as a rematch with old rival Dillian Whyte. He will return to Texas shortly where he continues working with new coach Derrick James after starting a rebuilding job under the American trainer at the end of last year.
“Deep down I am not happy because the ultimate goal is a knockout," he said after the bout. "Nothing can top a knockout. But it is what it is. I am definitely passionate about the game, 100%, for so many reasons. The list is long and I am committed until it’s done. The reality I am living is we are still chasing something. Yeah, I’m still chasing the dream.”
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