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Anthony Joshua to face Jermain Franklin on April 1st in London

Promoter Eddie Hearn has announced that heavyweight Anthony Joshua's return match will take place on April 1 at the O2 Arena in London.

American Jermaine Franklin, who was defeated by Dillian Whyte on points last November, is most likely to face Joshua, 33.

The fight will be formally announced during a press conference the following week.

"It's a really tough fight with loads of pressure to come back because if AJ doesn't win this fight, then we've got a major problem," said Hearn.

"I believe you'll see a statement from a guy who is very dangerous, very motivated to become a three-time heavyweight world champion."

Joshua has lost his last two matches, both to Oleksandr Usyk, the undisputed heavyweight world champion.

The Watford boxer has 24 victories as well as three losses and is a two-time heavyweight world champion.

Hearn, the promoter for Matchroom, rejected the assertion. Franklin, who is 29 years old, was a simple challenge for Joshua.

Franklin, who had a perfect record prior to his defeat to Whyte, disagreed with the outcome of the bout and thought he had won it.

"There's so much contradiction: 'Anthony Joshua is finished, mentally he's shot, but he'll knock out Jermaine Franklin inside three rounds,'" Hearn told 5 Live Boxing in New York.

"The same people that say Jermaine Franklin beat Dillian Whyte but he's a terrible opponent for Anthony Joshua, in a comeback fight after two defeats to the pound-for-pound number one.

"What this guy has done from a resume perspective is unbelievable.

"And I'm telling you now, this guy - still top-three heavyweight, capable of regaining his heavyweight world title."


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