Worst time to fight me- Joshua


Anthony Joshua said now is “the worst time” to fight him and described the current heavyweight landscape as a “shambles”.

The 33-year-old faces American Jermaine Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.

Joshua has been out of the ring since losing a rematch with unified champion Oleksandr Usyk in August.

“I am so happy I’m fighting again,” he said. “Looking at the champions, it’s just a shambles.”

Joshua, referring to an undisputed fight between Usyk and Tyson Fury falling through, added: “When you’re trying to compete, all the mandatories and negotiations, I just can’t believe no fights have been made at a championship level.

“I’m just so happy I can get back to work and get on with my job.”

On Saturday, Joshua will return to the O2 Arena, where he made his professional debut in 2013 after winning super-heavyweight gold at the London 2012 Olympics.

But with Joshua’s record now showing three losses in his previous five fights, Franklin suggested now is the best time to step into the ring with the Londoner.

“It’s the worst time [to fight me],” Joshua responded at Wednesday’s news conference in London.

“The more he talks the bigger grave he digs for himself. I could say a lot of things about him, but I respect my opponent.”I’m prepared for a 12-rounder but I do believe in my ability and my counter-punching to put a dent in Jermaine.”

Joshua said promoter Eddie Hearn is “dangling a carrot” of bigger fights if he overcomes Franklin.

“I dream big, and I want bigger and better things in my life. I want to secure the bag and move on with my life.”

Joshua said “the goal is to take him [Franklin] out”, but his trainer Derrick James is expecting a tougher night’s work.

“Jermaine Franklin is a very tough fighter,” James said. “I don’t really care how we get it, I just care we get it. Or if it gets to a point where I can see it, let’s go get it.”

Joshua based his training camp in Texas, USA, after linking up with James, who also trains world champion Errol Spence Jr and twins Jermell and Jermall Charlo.

“It’s always about what you’re willing to give up to be successful,” said James. “Everybody is working hard, but not everybody is willing to give up something.”