Anthony Joshua all-but confirmed to fight Jermaine Franklin on April 1 with announcement next week

ANTHONY JOSHUA is all-but confirmed to make his boxing return against Jermaine Franklin – with an announcement to come next week

The two-time heavyweight champion is set to mark his first fight of the year on April 1 at the O2 Arena.

PAAnthony Joshua is all-but confirmed to make his boxing return Jermaine Franklin[/caption]

PADillian Whyte beat Jermaine Franklin in November[/caption]

Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed Franklin is nailed on to be his opponent, with official confirmation to follow.

Hearn told iFL TV: “There will be an announcement next week. You are likely to see Franklin as that guy.

“I think it’s a great fight for AJ to come back to. Contrary to the haters who say, ‘Joshua’s finished, Joshua’s done.’

“Yet, ‘Joshua will knock out Franklin in a couple of rounds.’ And, ‘Franklin beat Dillian Whyte comfortably, but it’s a bad opponent choice for Joshua.’

“I think it’s a very difficult fight to come back to. There will be people questioning AJ’s confidence, he has a new trainer.

“There’s a lot of pressure on him in that fight but I can’t wait to see him back at the O2.

“I think he’s in a good place and I think he’ll put together a sensational performance and make a statement to the division.”

Joshua, 33, is coming off the back of consecutive points losses to Oleksandr Usyk, 36, ahead of his comeback bout.


And he has linked up with esteemed American trainer Derrick James in Texas ahead of his return.

AJ watched from ringside in November as Whyte, 34, edged past Franklin, 29, in a disputed decision win.

And Joshua is lined up for a summer stadium rematch against Whyte, the man he beat in 2015, should he get past Franklin.

Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte are lined up with a summer rematchMark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

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