By Peter Akinbo.
John Fury has urged fans to support Anthony Joshua following public approval shifting on the former heavyweight champion after back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua will step back into the ring for the first time since his loss to Usyk on April 1, when he battles American Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena in London.
Tickets for the fight have failed to capture the fans attention and thousands of seats are yet to be filled for the event, despite Joshua selling out the 20,000-capacity venue and even higher capacity arenas on numerous occasions in the past.
It would suggest there is lack of interest in Joshua right now, but Tyson Fury’s father has sent a message to fans to back the British-Nigerian as he begins his fight back to the top.
“Listen, Joshua’s a great kid, fans shouldn’t be turning against him and if they’re, then it’s wrong. AJ has given the public some great nights and they should support the man,” Fury told The Express.
“Let me tell you this, the best is yet to come from AJ, so the fans should get behind him and let’s get him back to winning ways again and make the super fight once Tyson is done with the Ukrainian rabbit. It’s the biggest fight in boxing, absolutely. It’s bigger than Usyk. Joshua and Tyson is still a great fight. So, I urge fans, get behind the man, don’t kick him when he’s down.”
Although Joshua versus Fury remains a fight that boxing fans in and out of the UK want to see, but there is no sign of the parties agreeing to a match at present.
Fury believes that Joshua should have saved his comeback fight for a bigger name, stating that his opponent isn’t well known enough in Britain.
Joshua apologised earlier this year for his actions in the aftermath of his defeat to Usyk last August.
The 33-year-old launched into a bizarre tirade after his rematch in Saudi Arabia, with Joshua’s place at the top seemingly hanging by a thread after a third defeat in his career.
However, the heavyweight has since drafted in new trainer Derrick James, as he looks to get his career back on track by defeating Franklin in next month’s crucial clash.
Meanwhile, a date for Tyson Fury’s showdown with Usyk has yet to be confirmed, but reports suggest that all signs point to an April 29 meeting between the pair at Wembley Stadium, after the Ukrainian agreed to Fury’s 70/30 split offer.