Anthony Joshua's victory against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night was a much-needed win for the former heavyweight champion, who hadn't emerged from a fight victorious in 27 months. Although Joshua soundly out-pointed Franklin in their 12-round bout, the 33-year-old was disappointed with his performance because Franklin made it to the final bell at a sold-out O2 Arena in London.
Joshua's ultimate goal was a knockout, which he was unable to achieve against Franklin, who has not been knocked out in 23 professional fights. Joshua has won only one of his six bouts by knockout since his technical knockout victory over Alexander Povetkin in 2018.
After back-to-back, 12-round decision defeats to Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk, the ex-IBF, IBO, WBA, and WBO champ won a fight for the first time since he knocked out Bulgarian contender Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round of their December 2020 bout at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
Joshua believes he could have stopped Franklin inside the distance had he let his hands go more than he did. However, Franklin's sturdy chin enabled him to take Joshua's hardest punches. Franklin lost by wide distances on the scorecards of judges Steve Gray (118-111), Fabian Guggenheim (117-111), and Alex Levin (117-111).
Although Joshua was not entirely satisfied with his performance, veteran trainer Derrick James appeared pleased overall with his performance in their first fight together. Joshua just wishes he would have taken advantage of the opportunities he felt he should have exploited to knock out Franklin, who stands four inches shorter than him and weighed in 20-plus pounds lighter than Joshua.
In conclusion, Anthony Joshua's win against Jermaine Franklin was crucial for his career as he had not won a fight in over two years. Although he was not able to achieve his ultimate goal of a knockout, he hopes to build on this win and come back stronger in future fights. Joshua's performance shows that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level in the heavyweight division.