Anthony Joshua plans to fight until he’s at least 38 after confirming his return to the ring this spring in London on a non-Pay Per View.
AJ returns for his first non-stadium event in the United Kingdom for the first time in seven years as the former two-time heavyweight champion bids to put three damaging losses behind him.
That trio of defeats came in Joshua’s last five bouts, and it was presumed the 2012 Olympic gold medalist would be winding down his faltering career.
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin
Not so, as Joshua bids to extend his 24-3 record with 22 KOs at The O2 Arena on April 1. He begins life under the tutelage of new head trainer Derrick James.
The comeback represents a return to the scene of his first title win over Charles Martin. Joshua faces another American contender in Jermain Franklin.
Boasting a CV of 21-1 with 14 KOs, Franklin did all but got the decision against Dillian Whyte last time out.
Saginaw’s ‘989 Assassin’ pushed Whyte into a close points loss at Wembley’s OVO Arena last November. In the eyes of the vast majority, though, Franklin won that fight.
He is relishing his shot against one of the biggest names in UK sport.
Joshua is ready to begin his ascent back to another world title shot. It comes after suffering back-to-back losses to pound-for-pound great Oleksandr Usyk in London and Saudi Arabia.
Eddie Hearn, forever the promoter, is giving Joshua a significant build-up despite being dominated against Usyk on both occasions.
“What an incredible year Matchroom and DAZN have in store for fight fans worldwide. This is just the beginning,” promised Hearn.
“The UK’s biggest boxing star Anthony Joshua returns to our screens on April 1. He wants to reclaim his spot as the number one heavyweight on the planet.”
Joshua on non-PPV on a five-year deal
Confirming Joshua’s five-year deal with DAZN is yet to kick in officially – Hearn added: “‘AJ’ has reset and refocused, and he is on a mission to defy his critics as he kicks off his exciting new partnership with DAZN.
Giving fans all the information they need about the event, DAZN also confirmed Joshua would not be fighting on Pay Per View.
“This fight will be the first in Joshua’s new five-year partnership with DAZN to be streamed live, exclusively, and worldwide on the digital sports entertainment platform.
“Joshua vs. Franklin will be included in the £9.99 per month DAZN saver subscription, making it the first fight in over eight years that fans do not need to pay an additional pay-per-view fee to watch Joshua.
“Beyond the UK, DAZN is available in over 200 territories. Simple to download, being on DAZN will make this the most accessible Joshua fight ever.”