Anthony Joshua: Jermaine Franklin ‘digging himself a grave’ with KO prediction

Anthony Joshua has warned Jermaine Franklin that the American is “digging himself a grave” by predicting a knockout of the Briton this weekend.

The British heavyweight is aiming to bounce back from two straight losses to Oleksandr Usyk, as he takes on Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.

Franklin has expressed a desire to knock out “AJ”, and while Joshua repeatedly emphasised his “respect” for the 29-year-old, the Briton also issued a stark warning at Wednesday’s pre-fight press conference.

“It’s the worst time [to fight me],” said Joshua, 33. “The more he talks, it’s a bigger grave he digs for himself. There’s a lot of things I could say about him, but I respect my opponent.”

“I think we’ll see blood,” Joshua added, while saying he hopes to “put a dent in Jermaine”.

“The goal’s not to make it back to the corner; the goal’s to take him out,” Joshua said. “I respect my opponent fully, I respect everything he says he’s been through. I respect my coach as well, so I want to make sure I get the job done.”

Further discussing Derrick James, the American coach who will be in Joshua’s corner for the first time on Saturday, AJ said: “The knowledge he spits is phenomenal. When we get this side of the fight, the physical work’s done; it’s all about the knowledge.”

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