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Former heavyweight champion Joshua to return to ring in April




Britain’s former twice world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will make his ring return in London on April 1 against American Jermaine Franklin, promoters Matchroom and DAZN said on Monday.

The fight at the 02 Arena will be the first time in nearly seven years that Joshua, 33, has fought without a world title at stake.

The Briton has not fought since his second straight loss to Ukraine’s WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in a title rematch in Saudi Arabia last August.

“Mentally and physically I feel ready,” said Joshua, who has a new trainer in Derrick James for the fight against a 29-year-old opponent.

Franklin, who has a 21-1 record with 14 knockouts and whose first defeat was on points to Britain’s Dillian Whyte at Wembley Arena last November, said Joshua had “had his time”



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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