Joshua vs Franklin fight predictions from boxing's big names

BIG FIGHT PREDICTIONS: Derek Chisora and Eddie Hearn stress Anthony Joshua is set for a tough night against ‘dragon slayer’ Jermaine Franklin… as AJ is warned it’s all over with defeat at the O2 Arena

  • Anthony Joshua’s career is on the line against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday 
  • The Brit is searching for his first victory since Kubrat Pulev in December 2020
  • Sign up here to watch Anthony Joshua’s fight with Jermaine Franklin on DAZN

Anthony Joshua heads into this weekend’s clash against Jermaine Franklin without a win in over two years and aware his career would be over with defeat. 

The 33-year-old, who has twice unified the heavyweight division, fights as a contender, rather than a champion, for the first time since 2016 following his pair of devastating defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.

The Brit was visibly distraught upon is rematch defeat to the Ukrainian mastermind, and has since sacked a second coach in two years, replacing Robert Garcia for renowned trainer Derrick James. 

Joshua is the overwhelming favourite to prevail, and a potential showdown against Tyson Fury could be on the cards if he does. But Franklin is not expected to be a pushover; he’s lost only once in 22 fights, coming against Dillian Whyte last year. 

The American’s team, meanwhile, have been supremely confident throughout fight-week. A number of big names in boxing are tipping Joshua to win emphatically, though, and Sportsmail outlines their predictions below.  

Anthony Joshua (left) and Jermaine Franklin (right) square off at the O2 Arena on Saturday

Derek Chisora 

‘There is pressure. I am not going to lie to you, there is so much pressure,’ Chisora told Sportsmail. ‘He’s fighting a guy who comes from America and has had a taste of the United Kingdom. 

‘Now he’s thinking, “I like this and I could make something out of this”. Now he’s fighting AJ. It will be a hard fight but I think it will be good for him.’ 

‘It’s going to be a good fight. The first four rounds are going to be a bit cagey but afterwards it’s going to be good.’ 


Eddie Hearn 

‘Jermaine Franklin is about 28 pounds lighter than he was against Dillian Whyte fight,’ Hearn told Sportsmail.

‘He’s now got a six pack and this is what happens when you’re fighting Anthony Joshua. It’s a chance for him to catapult himself in the world of the heavyweight division.

‘For AJ, there is bundles of pressure. He’s back at the O2. He hasn’t boxed there for seven years. It’s where it all started for his debut and it’s a must-win fight.

Eddie Hearn admits Joshua is under pressure but says his fighter is well prepared for the bout

Hearn warns Joshua he’s in for a tough night despite holding a significant size advantage

‘I want to see the destructive Anthony Joshua that we all love to watch. But, Franklin is going to put up a tough task.’

Hearn added: ‘I just think with AJ, he is a very intelligent guy. When he believes in the gameplan and the preparation, he’s very difficult to beat.

‘I don’t think he could have done any more. He has the confidence to execute the gameplan against Jermaine Franklin. Hopefully we will see a destructive performance.’


Team Franklin – Jesse Addison & Lorenzo Reynolds

Jesse Addison: ‘My prediction is a win [for Franklin],’ he told Sportsmail. ‘We want to walk away from here with a win over AJ, and it’s going to happen. It’s what we trained for, what we prepared for, and what we’re going to make a reality.  

Lorenzo Reynolds: ‘I predict that AJ is a dragon, but just like every other dragon he runs out of fire. And when he runs out for fire, Jermaine will be the dragon slayer, and he’s going to slay his way to victory.’


Jesse Addison (R) and Lorenzo Reynolds (L) insist Franklin will get the job done on Saturday

George Groves

‘I think we’ll see a really solid performance from Anthony Joshua,’ Groves told British Boxing News. ‘Franklin is a good fighter, [he’ll] put up a real good fight.

‘I mean he lost to Dillian Whyte, but a lot of peope thought he might have won. It wasn’t the best Whyte that night.

‘Franklin is a good, solid fighter. I think he’s in better shape from what I’ve heard. But I think if Joshua hits him, then Joshua hurts him, then Joshua gets rid of him.’


Lawrence Okolie

‘He’s definitely going to knock out Franklin in my opinion,’ Okolie told talkSPORT. 

‘Franklin, although he’s a good boxer, he’s going to have to respect AJ’s length, strength and ability.

‘So, it’s going to be a tough nights work for him.’


Campbell Hatton 

‘I think AJ will win in devastating fashion, Hatton told Sportsmail. ‘The old AJ that got him to the level he got to, being a knockout artist and a great finisher, was great. 

‘I think he came away from that a little bit which was the right thing to do in that second Ruiz fight as that was what was needed. 

Capmbell Hatton, who also fights on Saturday, insists Joshua will win in devastating fashion

‘He needed to be a bit more skillful in his approach but I think that stuck with him for a few fights where it probably didn’t suit. 

‘If he can merge those two styles together, he’s laughing. 

‘I think this time he needs to come back and stamp his authority on the division again. 

‘Get that dog back in him. Go in there, take him out and do what got him to that level. He knows he can fall back on that boxing if he needs to.’


Skye Nicolson

‘I probably predict a late stoppage for Joshua, but Franklin’s tough,’ Nicolson told Sportsmail. 

‘I think it could definitely go the distance, but hopefully it’s a really good performance from AJ – that’s what we want to see.’ 


Skye Nicolson (pictured) believes the fight could go the distance but backs Joshua to win

Anthony Crolla

‘I think Franklin is going to ask a lot of questions but I think we are going to see the old AJ back,’ Crolla told Sportsmail.

‘We are going to see him on the front foot, letting the big shots go. I believe he will catch up with Jermaine Franklin in the fourth to sixth round. 

‘It’s going to be an exciting night and I think Franklin will ask a few questions but I expect AJ to come through. It will be a big stoppage in the fourth to sixth.’


Johnny Nelson

‘If Anthony Joshua loses, he jacks it in,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘If he doesn’t jack it, he should jack it. Because it’s a hard mountain to climb. 

‘Especially when you’ve had the success and the heights that he’s had. So he can’t afford to lose. That’s a must. Then from that, it’s confidence building.

Pundit Johnny Nelson insists Joshua will have to retire if he loses to Franklin this Saturday

Joshua faces a huge task to reclaim his titles after two successive losses to Oleksandr Usyk 

‘My big question is this: Anthony Joshua, after losing two fights on the bounce, has he had to relook at his confidence to think ‘who am I, do I belong here, do I want this?’ For Anthony Joshua that’s everything.

‘Because he’s had to go through a bit of turmoil, mentally, emotionally and come to terms with the fact that he’s no longer the best fighter, officially, in the world. He’s got to get in the queue again like everybody else.’ 


Shayne McGuigan 

‘Great fight. Don’t think it’s going to go more than four or five rounds,’ he told British Boxing News. ‘I feel like when you put your combinations together with Franklin he falls apart. 

‘I’ve seen it in the gym with Daniel [Dubois]; he’s great when you do pot shots and stay on the singles, but when you start putting your combinations together and back him up, he starts to wilt a little bit. 

‘He’s very tough, but that fight against Dillian Whyte flattered him, I don’t think that was the best Dillian Whyte and I think AJ will be far too strong and far too sharp for him.’


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