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Jermaine Franklin has overcome bankruptcy and spent two years in the wilderness – but now has the chance to shock the boxing world.
Huge underdog Franklin has a shot at beating one of the most marketable names in the sport when he faces Anthony Joshua at the O2 Arena on Saturday night. Joshua is looking to resurrect his career against the unfancied American but has vowed that he will retire if he suffers a third straight defeat in a defining comeback bout.
And Franklin is targeting a major upset as he looks to create his own legacy in the heavyweight division after the financial troubles that left him working 12 hour shifts at a roofing company just to make ends meet for his young family.
READ MORE: Jermaine Franklin was working 12-hour days for roofing company only last year
The 29-year-old had a 21-0 record with 14 KOs but was forced to take on a factory job that left him with no time to train in the boxing gym, before finally landing a shot at Dillian Whyte last November.
"I was having issues. I had to support my family and I wasn't really making money from boxing," Franklin told the Daily Mail last year. "I had to work to be able to support my family and then I had problems with my old manager.
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"I had to file bankruptcy to get my assets back in order. My old manager got me in trouble with all kinds of stuff. He really didn't have my best interests at heart. There was a lot going on during those two years of me being out of the ring.
"I was trying to but my work schedule was hard. It was really hard to fit it in. I had to get up and take my girls to school. It would be hard to go train, pick my girls up and then go right back to work after.
"I tried to. Every now and then I would pop up in the gym but it was really hard to do consistently as my body was tired."
Franklin ultimately lost in a controversial majority decision defeat to Whyte – but his encouraging display that night has helped him land an even bigger opportunity to make waves in the heavyweight division.
And while Saturday's fight is defining for Joshua, it is also potentially transformative for the humble Franklin, who has the chance to launch himself into stardom with victory against the home hero in London.
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