LONDON (AP) — Former two-time world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua returned to winning ways but only after an unconvincing display in a unanimous points victory over Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night.
The British fighter had lost three of his last five contests, which included consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk, but he tasted success again for the first time since 2020 after the judges scored the London bout 118-111, 117-111 and 117-111 in favor of Joshua.
Joshua regularly landed with his left jab and caught Franklin on a number of occasions with his powerful right but the American heavyweight stood firm at the 02 Arena.
A bizarre finish saw the 12th round appearing to end eight seconds early before Joshua pushed his head into Franklin and it sparked an angry reaction from Lorenzo Adams, the strength and conditioning coach of Franklin, who pushed Joshua.
It was quickly settled and Joshua’s hand was lifted again to earn him a 25th professional win and keep alive hopes of a “Battle of Britain” with WBC champion Tyson Fury.
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