Anthony Joshua is facing the end of his boxing career in ten days if the former two-time heavyweight champion loses for a third time in a row.
‘AJ’ has been sketchy since losing his world clutch of title belts to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, exposing his mental weaknesses and suspect chin.
Years of being lauded as the next coming of Muhammad Ali when he clearly didn’t have the tools to back that up – weighed heavily on the Londoner.
It all unraveled against Ruiz at Madison Square Garden and has been coming apart at the seams ever since.
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin ticket sales
Back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk, in which Joshua was soundly beaten, have vindicated his United States detractors. As confirmed by ticket sales, they have also dishearted his staunch United Kingdom supporters.
Joshua had sold out the O2 Arena in thirty minutes the last time he fought there in 2016. Now, against another also-ran American in Jermaine Franklin, Joshua has struggled to put bums on seats for the non-Pay Per View.
Matchroom CEO Eddie Hearn attempted to explain that tough economic times contributed to the disappointment. However, Tyson Fury sold almost 70,000 at Tottenham Stadium in December, meaning that argument was unusable.
Hearn being the promoter he is, added it in any way.
“He’s coming off two defeats, so, of course, you’re not going to be the same size commercially as you were when you beat Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000,” Hearn told ESBR.
“But he’s a great fighter. He’s one of the best heavyweights in the world. I feel like he can still be the best heavyweight in the world.
“And it’s difficult times as well, yeah we’ve sold 14,000 tickets at the O2, and we’ve got a couple of thousand left – which will all go.”
That couple of thousand amounts to around six thousand not sold at the time. Upon the last check, several areas of the arena were still available.
It’s not certain Joshua vs Franklin will be a complete sellout at this point in time.
As Hearn admits, Joshua has to perform on the night and give UK fans a massive jolt.
“He needs to make a statement,” said Hearn. “He needs to get people excited about Anthony Joshua again.
“We all love him, the country loves him, but do they believe in him as a top heavyweight? April 1, we will see.”
Despite seemingly beating Dillian Whyte last time, Franklin is a big underdog in all but the result. A win for the Michigan man would certainly end Joshua’s career.