Franklin: “I will take on any of the world champions after beating Joshua”

03/31/2023 - No comments

Speaking exclusively to Sporting Post ahead of his big blockbuster fight with Anthony Joshua, US heavyweight Jermaine Franklin has opened up on how he hopes to cause an upset against the Brit on Saturday night.

Franklin, who lost in a hard fought battle on points to Dillian Whyte last time out, is looking to end Joshua by stoppage this time. He says he has already had a dream of beating AJ and is fully confident that anything is possible – by using his mind games to get into Joshua’s head and targeting his awkward footwork.

JF: “I actually had a dream about beating Joshua, it’s kind of crazy. I don’t normally remember my dreams like that, but I dreamt about the fight and it was weird for me. I’ve just been picturing myself winning, there’s no doubt in my mind. I think my confidence is playing a part in that. I’m a very confident person in myself and in my ability.”

“The dream was a little bit before we got to England. I didn’t visualise the actual fight or anything, but in the dream I had my hand raised and there was a whole bunch of yelling, the English fan can be really loud. There was a whole bunch of yelling and stuff, and it wasn’t even a real long dream, I just remember my hand being raised and yelling, that’s all I could really remember from it. I could not even see Joshua, that’s the crazy part, but it was a crazy moment.”

I’m here to break AJ with mind games

JF: “I will establish myself, come out there and fight my fight, I won’t let the hype get to me, just go out there and do what I’m best at, try to fight my fight and play mental games inside the ring.

“The mental side of the game is important, I don’t think a lot of people talk about it. If I can frustrate you, I’m doing my job. If I can make you aggressive or angry then I’m doing my job on the mental side. If I can do stuff without allowing him to do stuff, it all plays on the mind. Whatever reaction he gives you, you then have to capitalise.”

Luis Alberto - Michael Conlan Belfast Undercard

You can get to a lot of fighters mentally, some are easier to break than others

JF: “I haven’t fought him yet so I can’t say if I’ll be able to get him yet, but from some of the stuff I’ve seen  – I don’t want to say he’s easy to get to – but he can be frustrated and he can be broken. It’s not like it’s impossible from what I’ve seen, it can be done. You just have to go about it in the right way.”

“I’m a whole different person in the ring. I do a little bit of it all; I talk a bit of trash, make you miss or take all your strongest punches and then talk to you kind of reckless. I play all kinds of games in the ring. I really just see what avenue works for me once we’re in there.”

“Talking smack and taking guys power punches, not saying you want to take it flush on the chin, but when you fight strong guys and they see that they can’t hurt you as easily as they hurt everyone else, they have to change their approach.”

I’m preparing for a brawl…AJ’s career isn’t over if he loses

JF: “He has nice power from the right side but I have a great chin, so I’m not too worried about his power, he’s going to have to try and physically impose that on me. I’ve got good defence, so I’m not going to be a sitting target, somebody who is just there to get hit.”

‘I’ve worked on being more explosive, being prepared for a lot of stuff he likes to do, being mentally prepared for a brawl and being physically fit for a brawl. I’m not going in there looking for that type of fight but if it comes I’m not running from it.”

Who Won? Luis Alberto Lopez - Conlan - Fight Results

“A good night for me is knockout at any time, a good night is my hand raised with AJ on his ass. But I’m going in there to be smart and to protect my health. I’m not saying I’m looking for it, but if I see an opportunity then I’m going to take it.”

“I don’t think his career will be over if he loses.”

“You can always come back, you can always reclaim your stake, you just have to work hard and be ambitious enough.”

It’s his footwork that’s his real weakness

JF: “I like to study and analyse the small details, the thing people probably don’t pay attention to. It’s his foot movement I’ve been paying a lot of attention to. When he fought Usyk, he was doing decent but when Usyk used angles and turned certain ways, Joshua had to readjust to it. Though he didn’t turn and set himself up ready. He has to turn and readjust to the angle, I’ve been watching his foot movement and placement and sometimes he oversteps.“

After what happened with Dillian Whyte, I want to take it out of the judges hand

JF: “I would like it not to go the distance but if it does I need to make sure I will dominate in great fashion. I am somewhat thinking about the judges. I’m in a different country so sometimes we don’t always get a fair shake but I can’t let that play on my mind, I’m here to fight at the end of the day. I have thought about the judging, but I’m not worried – I want to take it out of the judges hands.”

“Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte are two different people, two different fighters. Joshua is a harder fighter. Skill Wise he has more than Whyte.”

Fighting me is a huge risk for Joshua…no tune up fighter

JF: “Ruiz and I are two different fighters but we’re both smaller fighters with fast hands and see Joshua struggles with that a little bit, so I can use that to my advantage.

Joseph Louis Barrow (known to the world as Joe Louis)

“Joshua’s best showings have been against guys around his height or bigger, I think it’s easy for him to touch guys around his height. I think this a huge risk because a lot of people sleep on me and think meeting here is a fluke, and I’m ready to shock the world, I love proving people wrong. I’m going to make Joshua remember who I am, this ain’t no cake walk or no easy fight, I’m not a tune up fighter.

“I’m going to put it all on the line, you can’t break my heart or will. You’re going to have to kill me in there.”

I will take on any of the world champions after beating Joshua

JF: “It will open all the doors for me.

“I’d like to fight Fury or Usyk or Dubois, any of the world champions, honestly, I’m not ducking no smoke. I’d like any of the top guys, keep boxing exciting.”

After what I saw as a kid, anything is possible

JF: “Anything is possible in my mind, I come from Saginaw, Michigan where there’s not a lot of opportunities and a lot of violence. If I can get here then I think anything is possible.

“I grew up around a lot of stuff and seen a lot as a young child. In my younger days there was probably more violence than now, now I’m older. I’ve seen and been in a lot of stuff, so to be able to gravitate to boxing, it gave me the opportunity to change my life and see stuff and travel. Boxing saved my life. It’s just one of those cities that you’ve got to make the best of. It’s one of those cities where it’s easy to get sucked into the wrong road.”

“You can get sucked into the drugs or gangs, guys are out there trying to provide for their families so it’s easy to get drawn into the wrong crowds.”