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Anthony Joshua makes the bold claim of taking retirement if he loses to Jermaine Franklin

If he loses this Saturday night at the O2 Arena against challenger Jermaine Franklin, former two-time heavyweight king Anthony Joshua will retire from the sport.

Joshua is already attempting to recover from suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk.

A close points decision loss to Dillian Whyte, in which some observers thought Franklin had done enough to win, is what Franklin himself is coming off of. Joshua has not won in a fight since 2020, and a third straight defeat would be the last straw.

"I will [retire]. I will retire if I lose. I'm not here to battle people. If people want me to retire I will retire," Joshua told MailOnline. "I'm not going to fight if people don't want me too. It's not even about the money. It's about the competitor in you. That's what's important.

"It [pressure] comes with the business and it comes with the territory, I know that. I know when I am retired, I am gonna be chilling. I'm gonna be thinking f---- everyone. I am done. You lot put so much pressure on me so when I am done, the chains are going to be gone. I am going to be laughing and loving life."

Joshua's former manager Lawrence Okolie thinks the British fighter won't have any problems managing the pressure of the upcoming fight. Okolie is the current WBO cruiserweight champion.

"He's been in high-pressure situations for a long, long time," Okolie told Sky Sports News.

"That's 10 plus years now [since his Olympic Games]. We spoke this weekend, he's in good spirits. He's feeling strong, fit and he's done a lot of sparring. So I don't want to speak for him but I expect to go in there and put on a great show. This is world-class boxing so I don't expect him to necessarily go and get it done in one round. But I expect him to win in impressive fashion."


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