Anthony Joshua admitted to Eddie Hearn he was ‘terrible’ against Jermaine Franklin but vows to be better in Dillian Whyte rematch

Anthony Joshua knows he underperformed against Jermaine Franklin.

AJ rebounded from back-to-back defeats against Oleksandr Usyk, who took his three world titles, with a unanimous decision win earlier this year.


Joshua was unable to KO Franklin

The former WBO. WBA and IBF heavyweight champion easily outpointed Franklin but failed to impress fight fans at the O2 Arena on April 1.

After taking a few months to reflect, Joshua admitted to his long-time promoter, Eddie Hearn, that the way he performed against Franklin was not up to scratch.

Joshua has vowed to be much better when he returns to the ring which will see him take on Dillian Whyte, live on talkSPORT.

“When I saw AJ in Dallas last week, a couple of things stood out,” Hearn told talkSPORT’s Spencer Oliver.

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“One is, ‘I can’t believe how good things are with Derrick [James]. Derrick is an unbelievable trainer, we are gelling so well.’ In the first camp, he was enjoying it, but I feel like they’ve just taken that time.

“Secondly, he’s happy, excited, and looking forward to a real fight.

“Also, acknowledging that his performance against Franklin was poor. You know, I said to him, ‘We’ve got Franklin on the show this week in Detroit, he’s a good fighter.’

“He went, ‘Oh, I was terrible that night… It wasn’t a good performance, next time I’ll be much better.’”

AJ is feeling good after spending more time with his new trainer, James


AJ is feeling good after spending more time with his new trainer, JamesCredit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Joshua and Whyte have a long history having first fought as amateurs in 2009 when Whyte scored a decision win.

Six years later, AJ brutally knocked out his rival when they fought as professionals in a British and Commonwealth title bout that is fondly remembered eight years on.

On Monday afternoon, Joshua and Whyte came face-to-face at a press conference to promote their rematch which has sold out just days after it was announced.

AJ played down their rivalry, but it was easy to see that there is still some animosity between the two men when they stared each other down at the end of the press conference.

Joshua and Whyte will rematch on August 12, live on talkSPORT


Joshua and Whyte will rematch on August 12, live on talkSPORTCredit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom

It’s a must-win fight for Joshua who has a £60 million bout with Deontay Wilder waiting, but the match-up set for December in Saudi Arabia will be called off if he loses.

Meanwhile, Whyte is looking to re-establish himself as a genuine heavyweight contender after failing to impress when he fought Tyson Fury for the WBC title in April 2021.

‘The Body Snatcher’ hopes to avenge his loss to Joshua before squaring off against Wilder in the Middle East later this year.

Joshua vs Whyte on talkSPORT

A history of violence is here

Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte is live on talkSPORT – the home of boxing – on 12 August

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