Anthony Joshua, the Nigerian-British boxer, returned to winning ways on Saturday night with an unanimous victory over Jermaine Franklin, the US boxer.
Joshua was adjudged the winner at the O2 Arena in London after a grueling contest for 12 rounds.
The three judges scored Joshua 118-111, 117-111, 117-111 to win the bout.
The former world champion got his first win since 2020 — after suffering two consecutive defeats to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk defeated Joshua on September 25, 2021. The British boxer suffered in the hands of his Ukrainian counterpart for the second time on August 21, 2022.
Joshua’s last win came on December 13, 2020 against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev.
The latest bout which was characterised by the usual jabs throwing and punches eventually saw Joshua denied Franklin his 25th career win.
Joshua’s victory appeared to be the beginning of his quest to become a three-time world heavyweight champion.
He also extended his professional record to 25-3.
Joshua seemed to have his mind set for a blockbuster showdown with Tyson Fury after his win over Franklin.
“I try and provide for the fans. I know who they want. They said Tyson Fury; the ball is in his court,” he said.
“I would be honoured to fight for the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World.
“If he’s listening, he knows my promoter; we’ve had dialogue before, so let’s continue this. We ain’t getting any younger.”
On his part, Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, said: “We want the Fury fight. We believe it can be made. The nature of the victory was always going to be important, but he has the right to call out Fury or Deontay Wilder.”
Photo credit: Andrew Couldridge