Popular British heavyweight Anthony Joshua says he’ll retire from boxing if he loses to Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night in the Matchoom show, ‘The New Dawn’ at the O2 Arena in London, England.
Badly in need of a win after losing three out of his last five fights, Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) has his back against the wall in this fight in a position where he can ill-afford to lose.
The smallish 6’2″, 230+ Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) has clearly been hand-picked chiefly because of his lack of punching power but also because he’s small and seemingly no threat to beat Joshua.
That puts Joshua in the hot seat because there’s no excuse that he can give the boxing public, like in his last two fights when he was beaten by 2012 Olympic gold medalist & former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Franklin doesn’t have the amateur pedigree, he’s never fought for a world title, and his best career win is arguably 42-year-old Rydell Booker. Although some boxing fans believe Franklin deserved a win over Dillian Whyte in his last fight, the Brits don’t seem to believe that. Franklin genuinely lost that fight.
If Joshua does lose to Franklin, it might take some persuading from his promoter Eddie Hearn to keep him from going through with his retirement threat. Joshua already swapped out two coaches to try and turn his career around, and it will be forlorn if he dumps his latest trainer Derrick James to look elsewhere.
Joshua has a huge fortune of $80 million, so there’s less of a need for him to embarrass himself by continuing to fight and lose repeatedly.
You can understand why other fighters stick around long after they’re over the hill. Unlike Joshua, they got to keep food on the table and a roof overhead. Joshua doesn’t have that need, so retirement is quite possible for him if he loses on Saturday night to the unheralded Franklin
“I will. I will retire if I lose. I’m not here to battle people,” said Anthony Joshua to the media about his fight with Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night. I”f people want me to retire, I will retire,” said Joshua when speaking to reporters at a fight week event.
“I won’t fight if people don’t want me to. It’s not even about the money. It’s about the competitor in you,” Joshua continued.
“I know that. I know when I am retired, I am going to be chilling. You lot put so much pressure on me, so when I am done, the chains will be gone. I am going to be laughing and loving life,” said Joshua.