Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin Odds, Pick & Prediction: Target Over-under in Heavyweight Clash (Saturday, April 1)
Francois Nel/Getty Images. Pictured: Boxing heavyweight Anthony Joshua
- Anthony Joshua is back, and he's a massive favorite over Jermaine Franklin in Saturday's DAZN boxing headliner.
- Boxing expert Bryan Fonseca is targeting the over-under in this heavyweight matchup.
- Fonseca also has a bonus pick for the ESPN boxing headliner of Robeisy Ramirez vs. Isaac Dogboe, which you can read below.
Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin Odds
Anthony Joshua is back!
Some of you read that and got excited, some of you rolled your eyes, and other boxing fans just want me to get on with it. Fine.
The polarizing former unified world heavyweight champion will embark on his first fight since losing back-to-back times against current IBF, WBO and WBA champion Oleksandr Usyk, the last of which took place in August.
(Usyk also has the IBO, but it isn’t recognized as a major world title – the last of which is held by Tyson Fury, the current WBC champion. Yes, it’s confusing and stupid, but I’m here to help!)
Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) returns to the ring against heavyweight contender Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) this Saturday (2 p.m. ET, DAZN) at The 02 in London, where “AJ” hasn’t fought since 2016.
Joshua may be 0-2 in his last two fights and 2-3 in his last five going back to the famous Andy Ruiz knockout from 2019 – arguably the biggest sporting upset in Madison Square Garden history. Still, he’s one of the 10 or so biggest names in the sport, eyeing what could be his first win in 28 months.
He enters as a huge favorite over Franklin – we’ll get to that – but his challenger isn’t one to be flatly dismissed.
Franklin last fought against fellow Brit and former Joshua foe Dillian Whyte in November and boxed him to a majority decision loss while on his opponent’s home soil. To me, Franklin deserved a close victory or at least a draw, but the sport is the sport.
Now, let’s size this one up.
Joshua vs. Franklin Fight Analysis
Joshua will have all the physical advantages here, as he’s had for nearly all of his fights – including his losses.
Joshua stands 6-foot-6 with an 82-inch reach and could be a nightmare when he decides to actually apply these gifts and box. Franklin is 6-foot-2 with a 77-inch reach, and while he did a healthy amount of damage and provided great difficulties for Whyte – 6-foot-4 with a 78-inch reach – he’ll have to be much craftier to penetrate Joshua’s defense.
Joshua is now working with lauded trainer Derrick James for the first time. James, widely considered among the best trainers in boxing, currently works with undisputed super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo and unified welterweight champion Errol Spence – two of the top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
Joshua, to his credit, corrected himself in both notable rematches during his career. Against Ruiz, he was a bulky 247.75 pounds. He started well, boxing – using his jab and reach – even dropping him in Round 3. Then he fought the fight arrogantly, trying to steamroll Ruiz on the inside – to the smaller challenger’s advantage – and was lit up and dropped four times before being stopped in the seventh.
🥊💥 Ahead of Anthony Joshua's upcoming fight against Jermaine Franklin, we take a look at some of his biggest knockouts throughout his career.
Watch #JoshuaFranklin live on DAZN, April 1. pic.twitter.com/y0FeURwJUI
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) March 31, 2023
Comparatively, Franklin doesn’t have Ruiz’s overlooked speed, but he does carry similar pop, is the same height, and has a longer reach by three inches.
Usyk simply outboxed Joshua twice, though Joshua made adjustments and looked better in the second fight. Usyk – 6-foot-3 with a 78-inch reach – is just too good.
What Franklin did successfully against Whyte is also relevant in the Joshua fight. He was patient, he established his jab to both the head and body in Round 1 and carried it over, he countered well – especially with his left hook – he didn’t get careless, he displayed a solid chin, he didn’t ignore Whyte’s body to excessively head-hunt, and his work rate was consistent.
FACE OFF 👀@anthonyjoshua vs. @JermaineFrankl6 🍿
Tune-in now 👉 https://t.co/23J1nXq6d8#JoshuaFranklinpic.twitter.com/P5nogGEh77
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) March 31, 2023
He did, however, eat more shots in the pocket than you would’ve liked, especially in the final championship rounds, where he seemingly gassed out.
Joshua – who famously knocked out Whyte in 2015 – is a different beast when he’s on. James training him shouldn’t exactly hurt, either. But Franklin has earned this opportunity and should arguably be undefeated right now. (Whyte’s body language after “defeating” Franklin could attest to this.)
For what it’s worth, Joshua and Franklin also share October birthdays: Joshua, 33, is four years older.
Joshua vs. Franklin Pick
Ignore the moneyline, where Joshua is around -1200, unless you think Franklin is poised for an upset as the +750 underdog (via PointsBet).
(I actually did sprinkle on Franklin to beat Whyte months ago, for what that’s worth.)
Somewhat surprisingly, I’ve seen Joshua is -400 to win by knockout, with even worse odds than that at some books.
At FanDuel, Joshua is +500 to win by decision, which he’s only done twice: once against Ruiz in the rematch in December 2019 and against then-undefeated Joseph Parker in March of 2018.
As much as I like Franklin, I’m not positive he beats Joshua, especially one now partnering with James. But I do think Franklin survives longer than some oddsmakers appear to outline.
But the lines for Joshua’s knockout, to me, aren’t as trustworthy as a straight-up, old-school, over/under – and that’s the bet. The over/under for rounds is 7.5, with the expected outcome to come under (-135) as opposed to over (+105). This is an over for me. I think Franklin makes it into the latter stages of the fight. He’ll likely get knocked out then, too, but I’m more confident he at least gets there than he doesn’t.
My favorite bet: Over 7.5 rounds at +105 in the fight overall.
As far as the result, it’s likely Joshua gets the stoppage, but if you’re so inclined to sprinkle on the underdog, Franklin by KO at +1200 straight up is not a bad ticket. Joshua’s been dropped five times in his career – once by Wladimir Klitschko and four times by Ruiz. He was also buckled badly, nearing a knockdown, in fights against Whyte, Alexander Povetkin and the first Usyk fight – and this is all in Joshua’s peak.
Franklin winning would be a less shocking upset than Ruiz over Joshua, that’s for sure, but I’m taking the over on rounds, at least.
The Pick: Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin over 7.5 rounds (+105 at PointsBet)
Bonus Betting Analysis: Ramirez vs. Dogboe
For the second week in a row, a fight on ESPN may get dwarfed by other fights and sports. This week, we have Robeisy Ramirez (11-1, 7 KOs) vs. Isaac Dogboe (24-2, 15 KOs) for the vacant WBO featherweight title on ESPN (7 p.m. ET).
Ramirez is a -850 favorite on FanDuel (he was in the -700s weeks ago). Ramirez is the better all-around fighter and has KO’d his last three opponents. Dogboe’s two losses were both to previous champion and current super featherweight titleholder Emanuel Navarrete.
𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐅𝐄𝐀𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐖𝐄𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓 𝐆𝐎𝐋𝐃.#RamirezDogboe | APR 1 | @ESPNPluspic.twitter.com/cujNYTCq03
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) March 27, 2023
In both instances, Dogboe made it to the 12th round – he just got knocked out the second time.
Ramirez is +120 on points and +130 by knockout. And I think he wins this on points in a Cuban-style counter-punching exhibition – and he should, because Ramirez will never get an opportunity catered to him like this again.
The KO can happen, but I think Dogboe makes it all 12 (and survives the last). (The fight going to distance is -102, even for yes and no, for what that’s worth.)
Pick: Robeisy Ramirez by Points or Decision (+125 at DraftKings)
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