Anthony Joshua reveals new coach’s ‘high standards’ ahead of Jermaine Franklin fight

Anthony Joshua reveals new coach’s ‘high standards’ ahead of Jermaine Franklin fight

Anthony Joshua has admitted he is eager to ‘impress’ new coach Derrick James in his April clash with Jermaine Franklin.

It was announced on Monday (6 February) that Joshua will box American heavyweight Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on 1 April, a bout that will mark the Briton’s first with James in his corner.

The American coach, 51, counts compatriots and world champions Errol Spence Jr and Jermell Charlo among his fighters, with the former holding the unified welterweight titles and the latter possessing undisputed light-middleweight gold.

James is Joshua’s third coach in as many fights, with “AJ” having split from his long-time trainer Rob McCracken after a decision defeat by Oleksandr Usyk in 2021, before fighting under Robert Garcia in last August’s second straight points loss to the unbeaten Ukrainian.

“I’m looking forward to stepping back into the ring,” Joshua told Matchroom upon the announcement of his return against Franklin.

“Mentally and physically I feel ready. I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards.

“Franklin has a good style and a great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights.”

Franklin, 29, was unbeaten until he suffered a controversial points loss to Dillian Whyte in London in November. Joshua was ringside for the main-event contest at Wembley Arena.

“I’m ready to show the world why it’s time for me to take my place at the top of the heavyweight division,” he said. “Joshua had his time, it’s my time to shock the world.

“This fight isn’t going to the judges’ cards. I will have win No 22 come 1 April, that ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”

Joshua has not fought since his second loss to Usyk, who took the unified world heavyweight titles from the 33-year-old in their first fight and retained them in their rematch.

Joshua’s only previous professional defeat came against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, a result that AJ avenged later in the same year.