Joshua returns for a 12-round, non-title fight at the O2 Arena
AJ has a 40% win rate in his last five bouts
Franklin brings a 21-1-0 record and a 64% KO average
Anthony Joshua v Jermaine Franklin
Live on DAZN
AJ out to avoid a treble
Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua returns to action on Saturday evening in London. AJ takes on dangerous young American Jermaine Franklin at the O2, Joshua's first visit to the venue since stopping Dominic Breazeale inside seven rounds six years ago.
Franklin faces his first assignment in London and is about to get up close and personal with UK boxing fans. A tense night ahead as Joshua aims to delight the home crowd and get back to winning ways. His last victory was in December 2020, making this a must-win.
Joshua suffers back-to-back defeats
Joshua remains one of the biggest names in heavyweight boxing and UK sport, but arrives at the O2 Arena in the North Greenwich area of the capital showing poor recent form.
The two-time world champion's record now stands at 24 wins against three defeats, with 22 wins by knockout and one loss inside the distance. The spare came against supposed no-hoper Andy Ruiz Jr in New York approaching four years ago.
Despite a CV showing multiple important wins against high-ranking opponents and AJ placed third in the world behind Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, defeat could end his career.
He has lost each of his last two bouts and tasted defeat in three of the five most recent outings. Another loss would force the hard-hitting Watford man to slip further down the rankings and consider his future.
His recent form is less impressive, but Anthony is favourite on the Betfair Sportsbook to win, and you'll find no better than 1/121.08 trading.
That isn't easy to work with, but there's plenty of value available. Joshua to win by KO/TKO makes more appeal at 1/41.25, or you can back him to get the points win and some vital rounds under his belt at 5/16.00.
There's an Assassin in town
American opponent Franklin will enter the O2 Arena as the outsider to win this contest, but that won't affect his preparation.
The fighter from Michigan brings a professional record detailing 21 wins against just one defeat, with the slight blot on his copybook inflicted by Dillian Whyte on points.
That was a close contest that many believe Franklin did enough to win but was a victim of home scoring, with The Body Snatcher edging it 116-114 on two scorecards.
Defeat to Whyte came in the pair's November meeting at Wembley Arena and was, arguably, his best performance to date. He gave Dillian a tough night's work and could do something similar here. He's an all-action, big-punching warrior that pays no attention to the predictions of others.
Standing 6ft 2 inches tall with a 77-inch reach and 64% KO average, Jermaine is dangerous and has already shown the London crowd doesn't faze him.
Can the visitor pull off a shock away win and threaten his opponent's career? Franklin is better than his odds suggest and shouldn't be taken lightly.
Supporters can back the American to win at odds of 6/17.00, or there's 9/110.00 for the KO/TKO and 13/114.00 the points verdict.
AJ to keep it simple
The pre-fight betting is unfair on Franklin, but we're confident Joshua will live up to expectations.
The fact Whyte couldn't get rid of this guy and came close to losing makes things more interesting, but there's too much at stake for Joshua here. Another loss would leave his career hanging by a thread. Thankfully for British boxing, that won't happen.
We expect Joshua to work his way into this contest, showing his boxing skills and getting rounds under his belt. He'll better Whyte again by winning by KO/TKO, and we expect that to happen in the middle rounds.