News ID: 113554
Publish Date : 02 April 2023 - 22:01

Joshua Beats Franklin to Draw a Line Under Two Usyk Defeats

LONDON (Reuters) - Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua got back to winning ways after two straight defeats by beating American Jermaine Franklin on a unanimous decision at London’s 02 Arena on Saturday.
The non-title fight in front of a 20,000 crowd was the 33-year-old Briton’s return to the ring after suffering successive losses to Ukraine’s WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Oleksandr Usyk.
It was also his first win in more than two years, taking his professional record to 25 wins and three defeats.
The three judges scored the fight 118-111, 117-111 and 117-111 as Joshua -- who weighed in at a career heavy 18 stone three pounds (115.7kg) -- did what he had to do without lighting any fires.
Fans hoping for a dominant, explosive knockout performance to put Joshua’s name back in the headlines as a contender had to settle for a commanding, if ultimately unconvincing, display from the local favorite.
Joshua invited WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to think again about a future fight.
Joshua’s early punches lacked any real menace or urgency, while 29-year-old Franklin grew in confidence, on occasion cheekily poking his tongue out at his far bigger and taller opponent.