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Not again: Anthony Joshua to make shock retirement from boxing if he loses to…

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Anthony Joshua has admitted he will retire from boxing if he loses to Jermaine Franklin.

Joshua will return this weekend against American heavyweight Franklin at London’s O2 arena, as he looks to put his heavyweight career back on track. ‘AJ’ will be looking to regain momentum after back-to-back losses against new unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, who ended their rivalry with a split decision win over Joshua in Saudi Arabia last August.

A win for the former two-time champion could once again see him set up fights with some of the sport’s biggest names including previous rival Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. However a loss could be hugely damaging to his time in the ring and will leave him further than ever from the world-level nights.

And Joshua has insisted he will follow the verdict of the public if he was to lose to Franklin on Saturday night. “I will. I will retire if I lose,” he told reporters at Monday’s red-carpet launch party. “I’m not here to battle people. If people want me to retire I will retire. I’m not going to fight if people don’t want me too. It’s not even about the money. It’s about the competitor in you.

“That’s what’s important. It comes with the business and it comes with the territory, I know that. I know when I am retired, I am gonna be chilling. I’m gonna be thinking f**k everyone. I am done. You lot put so much pressure on me so when I am done, the chains are going to be gone. I am going to be laughing and loving life.”

Joshua has faced calls to retire from the sport if he loses from experts and fans including former cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson. Despite suffering heavy criticism for his recent performances, Joshua has achieved plenty in the sport fighting in big stadiums around the country, and remains considered a household name.

He will be hoping for another new dawn alongside trainer Derrick James who he has recruited following his losses to Usyk. The heavyweight has been spending his training camp in the US and is confident that he will have the tools in his armoury to put on a big display against Franklin.

He said: “If Franklin possesses certain weaknesses I’ll be able to exploit them. It has been difficult over the past few fights to exploit people’s weaknesses because they’re very difficult to catch and pin down but hopefully I’ll be able to exploit Franklin’s weaknesses and show some of my old self.

“At a certain level it’s hard to go into the ring and knock someone out within like ten seconds. There’s a process to getting that knockout and you have to be disciplined. I understand, there’s high expectations. People put their own expectations on other people. People put me in high regard – that’s where the pressure comes from, me having to deliver. I understand that and I’ll do my best for sure.”

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