ANTHONY JOSHUA is fighting Jermaine Franklin at the heaviest weight of his career as he bids to blast him out.
AJ – at 18st 3lbs – has packed on almost a stone to blast Jermaine Franklin out in his comeback bout, after consecutive Oleksandr Usyk loss, in a one-sided war.
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AJ was 244lbs – 17st 6lbs – for the heartbreaking second Usyk defeat in August and 240lbs for the original loss 11 months earlier in Tottenham.
But the 33-year-old marched into West London on Friday a hulking 255lbs – 1lb heavier than his previous most hefty against Carlos Takam in 2017 – and warned the 29-year-old American it’s going to be a brutal battle.
He said: “I’ve got my gameplan, I’ve got my mind right.
“I am ready for war.
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“I know I can knock him out but I follow the process.”
AJ admitted after the Takam fight that he had only ballooned up because the Frenchman was a last-minute replacement for Kubrat Pulev and he took his eye off the ball.
But under aggression-loving Derrick James he seems to have packed on powerful muscle on purpose, to return to his most savage glory days.
Franklin, 234lbs had been working in a roof insulation company when the call to fight Dillian Whyte in November came and landed in London a flabby 18st 5lbs.
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But after being given a proper training camp for this life-changing opportunity, he ditched his beloved red meat and sugar and dropped 25lbs pounds to look lean and mean in Shepherds Bush on Friday.
Fans have taken to social media to discuss AJ's weight.
One tweeted: "Franklin will get smoked. This isn’t even fair."
A second commented: "It’s a non contest."
While a third said: "AJ is the next Ivan Drago clone. True warrior, ducks no one. Fought the best."
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Franklin is hoping to catch AJ flat just like Andy Ruiz Jr.
The chubby Mexican stunned AJ in 2019 but handed the three belts back after six months of scoffing and partying.
Fellow underdog Franklin has gone the other way and dropped 25lbs for his shot at the British icon.
He plans to catch Joshua with jetlag but he promises a shock victory would not be a first-class ticket back to obesity.
"I like Andy but he just dropped the ball completely," Franklin laughed.
"I don’t know if he had people in his ear, or was it just the lights that got to him?
"But it won't happen to me, no way at all.
"He has a rematch clause if he loses but I won't be blowing that if it happens?"
When Franklin last visited to fight Whyte in November, he was rocked by the flight and time difference, floored for a fortnight and visited the doctors.
So he's shocked our Watford ace only flew back from his Dallas camp last Thursday and took only 10 tens to reacclimatise.
"Last time I couldn’t probably do anything for like four rounds," he said.
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"I felt like I’d been in the gym the whole day. My body would just be extremely exhausted. I had no energy.
"If Joshua has only just come in last week then maybe he has the same problem, maybe I catch him cold and early."
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