Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin: Fight time, how to watch on TV and undercard
Former two-time world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will make his ring return against American Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night.
The bout will be the first time in nearly seven years that Joshua, 33, has fought without a world title at stake.
Joshua has not fought since his second straight loss to Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk in a title rematch in Saudi Arabia last August.
"We can’t look back," Joshua said this week. "We’re only looking forward and I see a bright future and that kind of keeps me in good spirits."
When is the fight?
The fight is scheduled for Saturday, April 1.
What time will it start?
Expect the ring walks for the main event to start around 10.30pm, possibly a little later depending on the duration of the undercard fights (see below).
Where is it?
Joshua is fighting at London's O2 Arena for the first time since 2016. This was the scene of his first world title win over Charles Martin. Joshua's record at the O2 is 7-0 in his favour.
How can I watch it on TV?
The fight will be shown live and exclusively on American streaming platform DAZN, with whom Joshua signed a five-year partnership.
Joshua vs Franklin will be included in the £9.99 per month DAZN saver subscription, and the app is available on Smart TVs, games consoles, tablets and mobile.
How can I buy tickets?
Tickets are still available via Matchroom and the O2 website using this link. Seats start at £117.
What is at stake for Joshua?
Having not won a fight since beating Kubrat Pulev in 2020, Joshua is trying to rebuild his career. His most recent disappointments came in consecutive defeats against Usyk, but he has not giving up on the idea of reclaiming the heavyweight world title.
Joshua has changed coaches and teamed up with Derrick James to help him rediscover his best form. Our in-depth feature about his preparation for this bout includes details on his coaching team, his new training methods and how recent defeats have barely damaged his marketabilty.
What are they saying?
Speaking this week, Joshua appeared to have few regrets about the way he approached his career before the twin defeats to Usyk. “I was really pushing that undisputed narrative for so long, that road to undisputed hashtag with all of the brands we work with,” Joshua said. “We pushed it, but now we’re at a new stage. We can’t look back. We’re only looking forward and I see a bright future and that kind of keeps me in good spirits.”
Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, is wary of getting too far ahead of himself, considering what is at stake for his man on Saturday night.
"I'm not as calm as AJ but it's a massive fight," he said. "We're in a position now where it is must-win.You can dress it up and say there is less pressure, no belts but ultimately if he doesn't win there will never be another belt, so that's the aim.
"To put himself back in a position to fight for the world heavyweight title and to do that he must win on Saturday.
"Derrick James has done a lot of work with him, so we'll see an aggressive Anthony Joshua and a smart Anthony Joshua. If he lets Franklin get confident, it is going to be a very dangerous fight, so he must hurt him early."
What are the odds?
Anthony Joshua 1/12
Jermaine Franklin 7/1
Who's on the undercard?
Here's the full schedule for fight night at the O2:
Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin (heavyweight)
Fabio Wardley vs Michael Polite Coffie (heavyweight)
Galal Yafai vs Moises Calleros (flyweight)
Austin Williams vs River Wilson-Bent (middleweight)
Campbell Hatton vs Louis Fielding (super-lightweight)
John Hedges vs Daniel Bocianski (light-heavyweight)
Jordan Flynn vs Kane Barker (super featherweight)
Juergen Uldedaj vs Benoit Huber (cruiserweight)
Ziyad Almaayouf vs Georgi Velichkov (super-lightweight)