Franklin Doubts Joshua: “I Don’t Think He Has Wilder’s Heart”

Franklin Says Joshua Needs to Prove he has the Intangibles

Jermaine Franklin doubts Anthony Joshua has enough heart to win
Jermaine Franklin (L), Anthony Joshua

Jermaine Franklin Betting He Has More Heart Than Anthony Joshua

Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) gets the biggest opportunity of his career on April 1 when he faces off against two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Joshua returns to the ring following back-to-back defeats to the reigning unified champion, Oleksandr Usyk. To plenty of observers, this upcoming fight is AJ’s fight to get back on the winning track. But, Franklin has other plans in mind.


During an interview on The DAZN Boxing show, Franklin said that he’s not anyone’s stepping stone.

“The way they’re pushing it in the media is that they trying to use me as a tune-up fight. That’s the whole narrative from the media right now . . . I know I got to come in there and make a real statement, make a real impact.”

Franklin is coming off a majority decision loss to Dillian Whyte in November 2022. The 29-year-old had his moments and won his fair share of rounds against Whyte in that match. Franklin thinks the media underestimated him before the fight with Whyte, and they’re making the same mistake now.

Joshua is under the guidance of a new trainer. He’s working with Derrick James,’s 2022 Trainer of the Year. Franklin respects the accolades of James, but he does his own extensive study of fighters from all levels and will be more than ready on fight night.


Understanding what he’s up against, Franklin said that his focus is at a different level. He believes what will carry him to victory over Joshua will be beyond anything physical. Franklin feels Joshua is lacking when it comes to intangibles.

“I don’t think that Joshua got that type of heart. I don’t think that Joshua got that in him. I’m not saying that he’s a punk.

The type of heart that (Deontay) Wilder has where you have to knock me out to win this fight – I don’t think AJ has that. He can show me.”

Can Franklin test the ticker of the two-time unified champ and spoil Joshua’s return to the ring? He is on a mission to do so come April 1 in England.

Featured Article: Former WBC Champ Oleksandr Gvozdyk Exits Retirement; Returns 2/11

About Mike W.2014 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for