Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will return versus Michigan’s Jermaine Franklin on April 1st among Matchroom Boxing’s newly-announced lineup for 2023.
The fight was confirmed on Monday afternoon among a packed January-April schedule, all of which will be shown live on streaming platform DAZN.
Joshua suffered a second consecutive loss to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in August last year via split-decision.
The fight took place eleven months on from the Brit’s initial defeat to Usyk in London which saw Joshua surrender his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.
The 33-year-old will now return to London’s O2 Arena against America’s Franklin who suffered a narrow defeat to Dillian Whyte over twelve-rounds in November.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has vowed Joshua will feature three times in 2023 with a potential rematch against Whyte eyed for the summer providing ‘AJ’ avoids defeat in April.
Joshua took to Twitter to announce the fight, posting the fight poster alongside the caption “New Dawn.”
Franklin responded to the announcement with a Twitter post of his own reading “Tell the judges to stay home. I don’t play boxing! The fight is on.”
The American felt hard done by following the contentious result in his fight versus Whyte at the end of last year.
The fight on April 1st will be included in customers’ monthly subscription with DAZN.
Matchroom also announced light-heavyweight Callum Smith will take on Pawel Stepien in Liverpool ahead of a potential showdown with Artur Beterbiev later in the year.
Joe Cordina will also look to reclaim his world title when he takes on IBF super-featherweight champion Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in Cardiff on 22nd April.