Anthony Joshua honest when quizzed on taking Jermaine Franklin fight

Emotional Anthony Joshua explains erratic behaviour after defeat

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Anthony Johsua left fans journalists taken aback after a brutally frank answer during his press conference as he launched his comeback bout against Jermaine Franklin. ‘AJ’ will take on the American at the O2 Arena on April 1, as he seeks to rebuild his career following his heavyweight title rematch defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last August. 

Joshua, 33, has been accused of wasting people’s time by opting to take on a fighter not considered among the elite. Franklin’s first professional defeat came in his 22nd bout last November, when he was beaten at points by Dillian Whyte.

In a bid to redesign himself, 2012 Olympic champion Joshua has recently relocated to the US to work with Derrick James, the 2022 Boxing Writers Association of America trainer of the year. He had previously worked with Robert Garcia when preparing for his clash with Usyk.

On Thursday, Joshua and Franklin came face-to-face for the first time following their first pre-fight press conference. And whilst facing the media, the former champion was asked by promoter Eddie Hearn “Where does the desire come from? I know you love to fight?”

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His reply was candid: “Money, money, money,” Joshua replied. “I like making money, straight up. This is a prize fighting sport. I’ve been broke, my family has been broke, I know what this s**t means and I do it like, because I’m good at it and I hustle hard. And when it’s all said and done no one will care about me no more so I gotta make the most of it from here.” 

The footage was posted on Twitter by talkSPORT boxing editor Michael Benson, and drew a mixed response from fans: “Hahaha the money era. This is about Joshua’s fourth character he’s played in his boxing career,” wrote @JoshWoogsLFC, while @JoshShields1878 added: “Finished fighter.”

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Some however, were heartened by what they deemed a refeshingly honest approach: “Whether it’s by design or by the way things have unfolded, this peeling back of layers to just an honest guy trying to make an honest buck is refreshing,” wrote boxing reporter Dev Sahni. “Leave all that ‘road to undisputed’ and ‘legacy’ chat, that was just good marketing. Rate the honesty here.”

Joshua is seeking a first win since his KO of Kubrat Pulev in December 2020. His record now stands at 24-3, with the trio of losses coming in his last five bouts.

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