Jermaine Franklin was working 12-hour days for roofing company only last year

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    Jermaine Franklin was working 12 hour shifts for a roofing company last year but now has the chance to end Anthony Joshua's career.

    Joshua has vowed to hang up the gloves if he loses to the unfancied American in his long-awaited comeback fight at the 02 Arena on Saturday night.

    But Franklin, who lost a controversial majority decision to Dillian Whyte in November, has now been offered the chance to shake up the heavyweight division. And a shock victory for Franklin would prove the ultimate rags-to-riches story, given he was still working long hours making insulation wool just before his bout against Whyte.

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    Then undefeated at 21-0, Franklin was working round the clock just to make ends meet and support his young family while he pursued his boxing dream.

    "I was in a knitting department, making netting that goes in between the vinyl cord," he told SportBible. "I was at a factory job for a while. I don't have the time to be able to do it and still train and do everything.

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    "Before I got the Dillian fight. I wasn't in the gym at all, because I wasn't making any money. So I had to work and take care of my family. And we got that fight. I let my managers, and everybody, know what was going on and we started training from that day.

    "At that point, I wasn't in the gym. I was strictly working, and I had to provide for my family. I wasn't making money through boxing. I still got bills, I got kids and stuff like that.

    "I wasn't really in the gym at all. I was just working at my job, trying to find time to go to the gym. But you know with those 12-hour shifts, I go 7-7, I get off work, I had to take my kids to school at like 8:30. And then I come home, get a little bit of sleep, pick my kids up at 3 and I go to work in four hours."

    Franklin almost has nothing to lose as an almighty underdog against Joshua, who needs to deliver a statement knockout blow to announce his resurgence. But the 29-year-old knows just how game-changing an upset could be against the home favourite in London.

    "It will mean everything for my career," he said, when asked about beating AJ. "Outside of boxing, I'm still me. I'm still Jermaine Franklin.

    "I don't think I would change regardless of if I boxed or not. I'm still a humble guy, hard worker, very family orientated but for my career, I think it means a lot for all my trials and tribulations – all the hard work I've put into the sport."


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