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    Sunday, April 2, 2023

    Anthony Joshua, Jermaine Franklin Carry on Fighting after Last Bell

    After beating Jermaine Franklin, Anthony Joshua wants to jump straight into a fight with Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

    The former two-time heavyweight world champion beat Franklin by unanimous decision, but admitted he was disappointed with his performance. I am a bit disappointed,” Joshua told talkSPORT afterwards.

    He later admitted his ego was to blame for his altercation with Jermaine Franklin after the bell last night.

    The two-time former world heavyweight champion comfortably outpointed Franklin in a lacklustre outing at the O2 Arena, with arguably the most intense moment being their heated row after round 12. But Joshua insisted he has respect for his rival after their meeting, telling reporters that both men were simply overcome by the heat of battle.

    Joshua is expected to return to the ring this summer, with Tyson Fury the opponent on whom he has his eyes set after a first win in two-and-a-half years last night. But some fans were disappointed with his inability to land a trademark 'AJ' stoppage, or even drop the relatively unknown Franklin.

    “He wanted to win and round by round we are talking to each other," he explained of the altercation during his post-fight press conference. "I am pushing his head and s***, so there is a bit of ego and pride that happens in the ring. It just spills over into the final bell. That’s all it is but it is all respect.”

    And in a later interview with Boxing Social he confirmed that it was a mutual "love for the sport" from the pair that caused emotions to spill over. "Realistically, yeah, that's it," he told the outlet when the idea was suggested. "For you personally, you're watching it but for us that's involved in it there's a lot of pride.

    "So it's just me and him, it's not about you or anyone else. You're just watching it, you can have your opinion but you're just watching it and me and him? We've got our own little back-and-forth. We're talking throughout the fight and then it carried on afterwards."

    Now, Joshua appears to be planning two more fights this year; with Fury and Deontay Wilder both potential opponents as well as a rematch with old rival Dillian Whyte. He will return to Texas shortly where he continues working with coach Derrick James after starting a rebuilding job under the American at the end of last year.

    “Deep down I am not happy because the ultimate goal is a knock-out," he said after the bout. "Nothing can top a knock-out. But it is what it is. I am definitely passionate about the game, 100%, for so many reasons. The list is long and I am committed until it’s done. The reality I am living is we are still chasing something. Yeah, I’m still chasing the dream.”

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