MMA Fighting has Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin live round-by-round updates for one of the most anticipated boxing fights of the year at The 02 in London, England on Saturday evening.
The main event is expected to begin around 5 p.m. ET on DAZN. Check out our Joshua vs. Franklin results page to find out what happened on the undercard. Bet on Joshua-Franklin at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Anthony Joshua (24-3) has lost his two fights to heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, including a split-decision loss to Usyk in his last outing this past August.
Jermaine Franklin (21-1) is also looking to rebound from his first career loss in his last outing. Franklin lost to Dillian Whyte via majority decision this past November.
Check out Joshua vs. Franklin main event live blog below:
Round 1: Here we go. Can Anthony Joshua get back on track after back-to-back losses? He’s as high as a 16-to-1 betting favorite to do exactly that, but there’s a reason they fight the fights. And here comes Jermaine Franklin — he’s the first to make that walk. It’s a subdued one. Big chance for the American to play spoiler in enemy territory. Now it’s Joshua’s turn. He looks calm, cool, and focused. He’s pledged to retire if he doesn’t win tonight. London’s own Marcus McDonnell is our referee. The boos rain down as Franklin is introduced. Big round of applause for Joshua. They touch ‘em up and we’re off. Joshua pops off a few jabs to get Franklin’s attention. Very slow start here. Joshua wings out a right hand, then makes Franklin eat a stiff left. Joshua clinches, then clinches again off the break. Tough start. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua.
Round 2: Joshua already has a bloody nose. Franklin jawing at Joshua at the end of that round. Joshua tells his corner that he’s taking it one round at a time. Joshua clinches and Franklin shucks him off. Very odd body language from Joshua right now. He paws out a few jabs. Oh, nice counter right hand lands for Joshua. That was his first good shot of the night. Franklin puts together a three-punch combination. Big right hand by Franklin. Joshua answers back but blood is dribbling out of his nose again. Joshua goes to the body. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (20-18 Joshua.)
Round 3: Franklin storms forward with his jab. His corner implored him over the break to get this next round. Joshua slips a three-punch combo by Franklin, then cracks Franklin with a nice right hand. Another straight right from Joshua. Franklin punches his way into the clinch. Franklin paws forward with his right hand. Joshua responds with a few jabs. Stiff straight right by Joshua at the horn. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (30-27 Joshua.)
Round 4: Hagler-Hearns, this is not. The announcers can’t help but point out how tentative Joshua is being. Even Franklin is letting Joshua hear it. Joshua comes over the top with a left hook but it’s blocked. Franklin gets off a two-shot combo to the head. Joshua pumps his jab then clinches. This is a low-energy sparring session right now. Franklin finally has enough and charges forward with a flurry. Joshua dodges it all and cracks Franklin with a decent counter. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (40-36 Joshua.)
Round 5: Joshua connects with a hard right hand to start. Franklin eats it and flurries, but misses with everything. Joshua catches Franklin with a clubbing forearm behind the head. Nasty right hand lands for Joshua. That was a good one. Franklin unloads with another combination but he can’t find his mark with anything. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (50-45 Joshua.)
Round 6: We’re nearing the halfway point of this fight and neither man has landed much of consequence outside of a few single shots. Immediate clinch. Franklin finally uncorks a right hand that connects. Franklin starting to come alive a bit now — he wings off a few combination but nothing that lands flush. Another right hand for Franklin, and that one finds its mark. This is Franklin’s best round by far. He bull-rushes inside and they have a prolonged clinch. Joshua fires off a one-two. Franklin answers back. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Franklin. (59-55 Joshua.)
Round 7: Franklin goes on the offensive but fails to connect, and instead eats a counter to the body for his troubles. Joshua fires off a one-two. Double jab for Joshua. Franklin cliches. Back to the clinch for Joshua. Franklin is getting frustrated. Quick jab for Joshua, and now he’s just repeatedly pawing that one out there. Joshua clinches again. One-two lands for Joshua and that was a solid connect. More clinching. Franklin tries to brawl off the release but gets shut down by Joshua’s defense. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (69-64 Joshua.)
Round 8: Joshua takes the center of the ring and goes right back to work with his jab. Straight right lands hard for Joshua. The referee gives Franklin a stern warning for pushing off these clinch breaks. And almost immediately, Joshua clinches again. Franklin eats a short right hand. Overhand right from Joshua touches the ear of Franklin. No urgency at all from either man. More clinching — and again. And again. Sheesh. Come on now. We’re looking at like five or six clinches in a row. The moment Franklin gets inside, Joshua just leans that weight on him. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (79-73 Joshua.)
Round 9: This is a very dull fight. Franklin goes hard to the body but, yet again, Joshua just ties him up in the clinch. Franklin gets another referee warning for his clinch work. Another clinch. OK, this is ridiculous. Franklin lunges inside and gets stifled by the clinch. Franklin wings off a right hand only to be dragged back into the clinch. The referee has finally seen enough of these clinches — he gives these two men a talking to. Franklin finds a home with a hard right hand! That as easily his best shot. Joshua paws out his jab then clinches when Franklin attacks. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Franklin. (88-83 Joshua.)
Round 10: If this was supposed to be the performance that inspired people to jump back on the Anthony Joshua hype train, it’s been anything but. Back to work for Joshua, pumping out his jab and clinching any time Franklin comes close. They flurry and trade shots. Another clinch and they trade uppercuts inside this time. Even Joshua’s corner is calling for him to let his hands go. Joshua measures distance then cracks Franklin with a stiff left. Hard right hand for Franklin! Joshua fires back! Now we’re cooking. That was easily the best sequence of the fight. Joshua goes back to long punches and clinchwork. Franklin dives inside with a flurry but can’t connect. Big uppercut from Joshua misses. Franklin eats a right hand. That was a quality round. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (98-92 Joshua.)
Round 11: Franklin paws out a few jabs then gets stuck inside. Hell of a body shot connects for Joshua. He’s starting to find a home now with these body shots. Oh, Franklin goes over the top with a counter right hand that lands hard! Franklin bounces on his toes and unloads a flurry, only to end up in another clinch. Joshua picks him off with a few stiff jabs. Franklin bulldozes inside and smacks Joshua with a right hand. Joshua lands a sneaky punch off the break and the referee just lets it go. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Franklin. (107-102 Joshua.)
Round 12: If Joshua is going to find that knockout he promised, he has three minutes to do it. They clinch and Joshua fires off a few short body shots. Franklin dives inside and faces another clinch. Franklin has had enough — he shucks off another clinch and gets admonished by the referee. Joshua wades forward peppering his jab. Clubbing right hook lands for Joshua, followed by a pair of uppercuts. Another series of clinches draws a round of boos from the London crowd. Franklin needs to go for broke here. He finally unloads with one last flurry but can’t find a home for anything of significance. The bell sounds and now they’re jawing at each other. Near skirmish there. That was not a good fight. MMA Fighting scores it 10-9 Joshua. (117-111 Joshua.)
Official decision: Anthony Joshua def. Jermaine Franklin via unanimous decision (118-111, 117-111, 117-111)
After the fight, Joshua says he should’ve knocked Franklin out but it’s done now and he’s on to the next. He says no one will remember that fight 15 years from now. Joshua says the ball is in Tyson Fury’s court and he’s up for that fight if Fury wants it. Eddie Hearn chimes in, says they’re all not going any younger, and calls for the Fury fight to get done. Joshua finishes his post-fight interview by saying he’ll be back in the summer for his next fight.