London, United Kingdom.- Two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua looked unconvincing but returned to his winning ways, defeating Jermaine Franklin via unanimous decision on Saturday.
The Briton had lost three of his previous five matches, including two in a row to Oleksandr Usyk. But he achieved victory for the first time since 2020 thanks to dozens of referees who saw him win in London by 118-111, 117-111 and 117-111.
“I’d like to kick him out, but it’s important that we get the win,” Joshua said.
Joshua regularly landed a left jab and stunned Franklin on several occasions with his strong right hand. However, the American stuck his ground at the O2 Arena.
In a bizarre finish, it looked as if the twelfth round had ended eight seconds early. Joshua headbutted Franklin, which angered Lorenzo Adams, an American strength and conditioning coach.
Adams pushed the British boxer. Calm was restored, and the referee raised Joshua’s hand to award him his 25th career victory and keep his hopes alive for the “Battle of Britain” against WBC champion Tyson Fury.
“You know me. I always try to give myself to the fans,” Joshua said in the ring. “I know who the fans want to see. The ball is in Fury’s court. I would be 100% proud to challenge for the WBC heavyweight title. I am here and I say it with pride.
“It would be an honor. So, no matter where you are, if you’re listening, you know who turns me on, you know my promoter. We’ve talked before. Let’s keep going and hopefully sooner or later we can do it. You don’t make us any younger.”
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