Anthony Joshua hands next opponent bumper payday with fight talks on verge of completion
EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Joshua looks set to hand Jermaine Franklin a substantial payday when he returns to the ring in April.
Anthony Joshua looks set to face American heavyweight Jermaine Franklin when he returns to action in April following his second successive defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last August in Saudi Arabia. Although there are still aspects of the deal to be ironed out, Express Sport understands an agreement is thought to be close between all parties as AJ targets a third reign as world champion in 2023.
Eddie Hearn had previously talked up the proposition of a rematch between Joshua and old rival Dillian Whyte following the Body Snatcher’s controversial points victory over Franklin in late November.
Franklin was also told prior to the bout that he would land a shot at Joshua should he be victorious and the 29-year-old was then left to lick his wounds after claiming he was robbed on the scorecards.
Yet despite his first defeat as a professional, Franklin is now in line for another big payday – this time courtesy of former two-time world champion Joshua, who is looking to overturn a new leaf in his rollercoaster career.
Sources have told Express Sport that should a deal be finalised, the American will receive a guaranteed purse in the region of £800,000 with the fight slated for April 1 at the O2 Arena.
It’s been reported that Franklin was guaranteed £500,000 from the Whyte fight and made close to £1.5million after PPV money following his points defeat.
In addition to his guaranteed purse with AJ, the ‘989 Assassin’ will also be entitled to a chunk of the PPV sale having previously banked a 30 per cent split against Whyte.
Altogether, Franklin could be poised for a career-high payday worth somewhere around the £2m mark should the fight be finalised between Matchroom Boxing, 258 MGT and his promotional team.
Express Sport has also been told that should talks with Franklin collapse, then Joshua will likely fight Gerald Washington, who is ‘on standby’ and trained by the same trainer as Deontay Wilder.
Washington was in London last weekend to watch the Misfits Boxing event that saw KSI knockout FaZe Temper in the first round of the main event.
Joshua was ringside to watch the dogged Franklin’s competitive scrap with Whyte before Christmas and even gave his fellow British contender a friendly fist bump after his questionable victory.
The pair still plan to lock horns for a second time this summer with Hearn drawing up plans for a monster domestic stadium fight in July or August.
AJ successfully stopped Whyte with a devastating knockout in their British title showdown at the O2 Arena way back in December 2015.
The two Matchroom fighters have since come close to squaring off at Wembley in April 2019 when Whyte reportedly rejected a £4million offer from his rival.
Now a sequel is edging closer as the two heavyweights seek to renew old rivalries but both plan to enjoy tune-up fights prior to the eagerly-anticipated meeting.