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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Harry Davies

Anthony Joshua has three-opponent shortlist for fight after Jermaine Franklin

Anthony Joshua will fight either Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury or Dillian Whyte if he gets past Jermaine Franklin.

Hearn revealed Joshua's three-opponent shortlist if he gets past Franklin during a heated debate with presenter Simon Jordan on talkSPORT. Joshua looks to pick up his first win in over two years when he takes on Franklin at The O2 arena, with the fight also marking the first time in over seven years that Joshua hasn't competed on pay-per-view.

“Joshua has three options if he beats Franklin – Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte," Hearn said. "People say, ‘you throw Dillian Whyte in there because that’s the one that’s going to happen’, I mean that’s the easiest fight to make and I don’t think there is any disgrace, after the Usyk fights, going Franklin, Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder. That’s a hell of a 2023.”

Do you think Anthony Joshua can rebound from his losses to Oleksandr Usyk? Let us know in the comments section below

Joshua has previously fought Whyte twice, being beaten by his British rival in their amateur days but avenging their loss in their 2015 rematch when both men were unbeaten as professionals. 'AJ' has been heavily linked to fights against Wilder and Fury in the past but neither of the matchups have ever come to fruition. Hearn admitted to being nervous ahead of Joshua's fight against Franklin and is hoping his fighter can make an emphatic comeback.

“I’m a promoter and I’m hyping the fight, but at the same time I am nervous. He’s coming off two defeats, albeit to Oleksandr Usyk, we saw emotionally the position he was in because he wanted to win so badly. He’s lost two fights on the bounce, he’s no longer a world champion, of course his star has fallen," Hearn said.

Anthony Joshua fights Jermaine Franklin on April 1 (Shaun Brooks/Action Plus/REX/Shutterstock)

Joshua recently partnered with his third coach in the past two years as Derrick James looks to guide him back to winning ways against Franklin. Hearn praised Joshua for his work ethic and commitment to boxing as he added: "He’s got a new trainer and he’s taken himself to Dallas with a very small team to work his absolute socks off.

"He’s a man who in my opinion is an elite heavyweight, he’s a top three heavyweight who wants to comeback and regain his world title. He’s the purest individual, he’s the hardest worker, he makes more sacrifices and commitments than any athlete I’ve ever seen and he’s my mate, so I’m so pumped for his return. I want him to go in there and show people how good he is. I want him to believe in himself, I want him to appreciate what he’s achieved and I want him to go in there and make a statement.”

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