Anthony Joshua insists he is still feeling fresh as he targets his first win since 2020 after putting “his heart back” into boxing.
The two-time former world heavyweight champion will face Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena on April 1 having lost his last two fights to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua’s last victory came against Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, while American Franklin beat Pavel Sour and Rodney Moore before losing a close fight against Dillian White at Wembley Arena in November.
Joshua will be seen by many as a veteran, having fought 27 times professionally, but the 33-year-old claims to still be feeling at his best.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) February 9, 2023
Asked if he felt like a seasoned professional, Joshua replied: “No, I still feel fresh and young.
“I adapted to certain fights so I didn’t take crazy punishment so at this stage of my career I don’t think ‘s***, I’ve taken so much punishment’ or I’m war-torn. I still feel fresh.
“I like making money, straight up, this is a prize-fighting sport. People question if my head is in the game.
“So many fighters go to the gym every day but it is different when you put your heart into it and I had to get rid of some distractions and things in my life to put my heart back into the game.”
With Joshua returning to action looking to get back to winning ways, he has relocated to Texas where he is trained by new coach Derrick James.
Despite the move, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist admits he has had no time to enjoy his new surroundings as he prepares for the challenge of Franklin.
“It is not because I ain’t seen anything,” he replied when asked by promoter Eddie Hearn about the excitement of moving to the United States.
“I’m not there for anything else, I’m a serious person so I am not there for anything else. Throughout my career this is probably the most serious I have taken it.
“I’m not really there to go out for coffees and talk about b*******, I’m there to f****** work.”