By Peter Akinbo
Former cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew has urged Anthony Joshua to knock out Jermaine Franklin ahead of their proposed bout in London.
Joshua will fight Franklin April 1 at the O2 Arena, as he looks to bounce back from back-to-back defeats against Oleksandr Usyk and record his first win in the ring since 2020.
This will be the first time since 2015 that Joshua has not had a world title on the line in one of his fights, as he currently sits outside of contention for the belts in the heavyweight division.
Joshua will need to start getting some wins under his belt if he wants to get back in contention for world titles, and that all begins with Franklin.
Bellew, though, believes it is not good enough for the British-Nigerian to just beat Franklin, and Joshua needs to win in style if he wants to rise to the top of the heavyweight division once again.
“Joshua is coming off the back of two defeats,” Bellew told talkSPORT. “So, we just want to see him back in the ring.
“We want to see him shining and we want to see him get that big knockout win, which I think he’ll get against Jermaine Franklin.
“He’s gone up against the greatest cruiserweight I’ve seen (Usyk) and he’s come up short, but so has everyone else who has faced him.
“I think at this stage now, we just want to see him back in the ring and looking his best and doing what he does best, which is knocking people out and I think he’ll do it on April 1.”
Bellew sees this fight for Joshua as a fight that can signal the path the rest of his career will take, depending on the results.”
“This is a make or break fight, a career defining fight,” he said.
“This is one where against Usyk he was going in against the best and against the best you can win some and you can lose some, but when you’re going in against the likes of Jermaine Franklin, you’ve got to starch him. You’ve got to take his head off.”
Source: The Punch