Anthony Joshua agrees to face American heavyweight
Joshua is set to fight at the O2 Arena in April
Anthony Joshua is set to make his return to boxing in April after reportedly agreeing to fight American heavyweight Jermaine Franklin.
The Daily Mail have revealed that Joshua has agreed terms with Franklin - who trained alongside Tyson Fury in the build-up to his fight with Dillian Whyte in November 2022 - and will fight at the O2 Arena on April 1.
Joshua hasn't fought since his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in August 2022, losing his WBA, WBO and IBF belts to the Ukrainian a year earlier.
The pair have agreed on the financial side of the deal and will sign the contracts this afternoon (Monday January 230 before the fight is formally announced.
Both fighters will want to reassert themselves in the heavyweight division after losing each of their previous fights.
Franklin felt he had been 'robbed' in his defeat against Whyte, saying: "I felt like I got robbed. I felt like I did enough to get the decision. I felt like I won the earlier rounds. I just felt like I got robbed on the decision."
It looked as if Joshua would face Fury in December 2022 but negotiations between the two Brits collapsed in October after the Gypsy King grew tired of waiting for AJ's team to sign the contract, eventually choosing to take on Derek Chisora instead.
AJ was then subsequently linked with fighting Australian heavyweight Demsey McKean after the Southpaw called him out in the aftermath of his IBF Intercontinental heavyweight belt victory last October.
But with a deal for the first day of April set to be announced, promoter Dmitriy Salita is confident that Franklin can pull off an upset against Joshua.
Salita said: "Joshua, coming off two losses, changing trainers, is vulnerable.
"Honest. Jermaine realises it. He feels like he has his own future and path. He's ready to go out there and score the upset. Some feel like it could be an upset, and some don't.
"But Jermaine's going out there looking to score the win. After, he wants the rematch with Dillian Whyte, and then he wants to fight the winner of Fury vs. Usyk."
- David Haye addresses rumours he’s in a ‘throuple’ with girlfriend and Saturdays singer
- Chris Eubank admits that he regrets “ugly build-up” to fight with Liam Smith
- Floyd Mayweather announces his first ever UK fight at the O2 Arena