British-Nigerian fighter, Anthony Joshua, has returned to the path of victory, beating Jermaine Franklin to stage a comeback after string of losses.
AJ made his return to the ring for the first time since his back-to-back loss to Ukrainian war hero, Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua had vowed to go into retirement if he lost to Franklin in one of the most important matches of his career. This is his first win since December 2020 when he was stopped by Kubrat Pulev.
Franklin previously held an unbeaten start to his career, winning on his first 20 outings. But he lost against Dillian Whyte in his UK debut.
In the first round, Joshua stuck a jab into the face of Franklin, who exploded with shots over the top. Joshua was in control but neither he nor Franklin wanted to take a risk.
In the second round, Joshua bled from his nose following tackle from his opponent. AJ came out with more of a bounce, moving around the target but Franklin fired off with his jab.
In Round 3, Joshua missed with his right but Franklin responded by charging him down.
In the fourth round, Joshua threw a stinging one-two combination but it missed and Franklin returned with fire.
After the 12th round, Joshua was declared winner by a unanimous decision.
But a scuffle broke out in the ring after the final bell. Joshua appeared to give Franklin a little tap as the fight finished and the two came together and clashed, but their trainers quickly stepped into the ring.
Speaking after normalcy had been restored, Joshua said, “You know me, I like to provide for the fans. I know who the fans want. Who do the fans want? They said Fury? The ball is in his court, I will 100 per cent be honoured to compete for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world.
“I stand here and say that proudly, it would be an honour, so wherever you are if you’re listening. You know my management, you know my promoter.
“We’ve had dialect before, so let’s continue this and hopefully we can get this on sooner rather than later. We ain’t getting any younger. I don’t study my weight, I was sparring 13-15 rounds and felt good. I wish I could come around and speak to every single fan because I appreciate you all.
“O2 what’s happening? That got a bit chaotic but I am calm now.”
Commenting on the melee after the bout ended, Joshua said, “I apologise to anyone who saw that., I respect Jermaine and all the fans. Jermaine had a good duck and dive style, he knew how to tuck up, he did well. I should have knocked him out but now it is done and we are on to the next. When people come to fight me they bring a different type of energy, he was not here to roll over.”