Joshua will now battle Helenius on August 12

Anthony Joshua(25-3, 22 KOs) will face Robert Helenius(32-4, 21 KOs) in a 12-round main event at The O2 in London this Saturday August 12.(DAZN)

This follows the news that the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions and the British Boxing Board of Control that Joshua’s original opponent Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol. As a result, their fight was immediately cancelled with a full investigation underway.

“This wasn’t in the script,” said Joshua. “I respect Helenius and may I say, I respect any male or female who steps into the ring. I am laser focused on the win. I can make steps forward to bigger and better things but the road map has a check point, Saturday night. May the best man win.”

Helenius, 39, who was stopped by Deontay Wilder in one round last October, returned on August 5 when he stopped Mika Mielonen in Round 3

“I am excited about fighting Anthony Joshua on August 12,” said Helenius. “I am a true Viking that is willing to face any challenge at a moment’s notice. This is not an opportunity I was going to let slip away. I plan to make the most of it!”

Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn said:

“To get the news on Saturday was really disappointing, not only for us but for Anthony Joshua and for the fans. But we got to work and we have done what we’re good at – and we have managed to keep the show on. AJ has been unbelievable throughout this whole process. He is someone who is ready to fight having trained for 12 weeks in Dallas with Derrick James. He has always been a great pro but this just shows me again the hunger he has for the sport.

“”He wants to go out there this Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd at The O2 and perform. There were a lot of options. But we had to make sure it was the right fight for the right deal. I think Robert Helenius is a good fight. Yes, he lost to Deontay Wilder but that was by a shot that would have probably knocked out a horse! But he came to fight. He can really punch, he’s 6ft 8in and he won at the weekend. Ultimately there is criticism in whatever you do, but I actually think this is a tricky and dangerous fight.”

On a huge night of Heavyweight action in the Capital, IBF Mandatory World Title challenger Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) clashes with Australia’s undefeated contender Demsey McKean (22-0, 14 KOs) for a shot at Ukraine’s unified World Champion Oleksandr Usyk, two-time World Title challenger and fan favourite Derek Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) returns to the scene of so many of his famous wins to take on America’s Gerald Washington (20-5-1, 13 KOs) over ten rounds and Romford sensation Johnny Fisher (9-0, 8 KOs) has the opportunity to land his first belt when he faces off with Torquay’s Harry Armstrong (5-1-1) for the vacant Southern Area Title.

Elsewhere on the card, Hyde Super-Lightweight Campbell Hatton (12-0, 5 KOs) takes on Hitchen’s Tom Ansell (10-4, 2 KOs) over eight rounds, Billericay Middleweight prospect George Liddard (3-0, 3 KOs) goes for another knockout against Bas Oosterweghel (5-1, 3 KOs), Wales Featherweight talent Brandon Scott (5-0, 1 KO) makes his Matchroom debut against Shepshed’s Louis Norman (14-13-1, 2 KOs) and Eltham Super-Flyweight Maiseyrose Courtney (3-0) faces her toughest test against Bournemouth’s Gemma Ruegg (7-7, 1 KO).

Matchroom Boxing: Joshua-Whyte 2 is off

Matchroom Boxing announced on Saturday that Anthony Joshua’s fight with Dillian Whyte on August 12 is off.

Here’s a statement from Matchroom Boxing on the reason for the cancellation:

“Today, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) informed Matchroom, the Association of Boxing Commissions, and the British Boxing Board of Control that Dillian Whyte had returned adverse analytical findings as part of a random anti-doping protocol.

“In light of this news, the fight will be cancelled, and a full investigation will be conducted.

“Further information on the event will follow.”

Whyte tested positive for PEDs in 2012, which led to a two-year ban from UKAD. In 2019, Whyte tested positive for a banned substance before his fight with Oscar Rivas but was later cleared.

It should be interesting to see who steps in for Whyte, and it also should be interesting to see what direction the 35-year-old goes in from here. Whyte could also get cleared when this is all said and done, so we must wait and see.

Fisher: ‘It’s the right time to step things up’

The Romford Bull’ army were out in full force today as Johnny Fisher vowed to give them something to celebrate in just over two weeks time.

The popular Heavyweight prospect (9-0, 8 KOs) will bid for his first professional title at The O2 in London on the undercard for Anthony Joshua vs. Dillian Whyte 2 – live on DAZN PPV in the UK and Ireland – when he fights ‘Dirty’ Harry Armstrong (5-1-1) for the Southern Area title.

The 24-year-old favorite had a huge following in attendance today as he showcased his skills under the watchful eye of trainer Mark Tibbs and promoter Eddie Hearn at The Origin Gym in Rainham.

Fresh from his devastating first-round stoppage win over Emilio Salas at the OVO Arena Wembley in May, Fisher is confident he will have his hands raised in victory in a fortnight.

“It was good to see all of the media here and a lot of my friends, family and supporters as well”, said Fisher, speaking to Matchroom Boxing. “I did a few sharp rounds on the pads which was perfect as I’ve got a bit of sparring tomorrow. It was a good experience.

“It’s a massive event but I don’t see it any different. I’ve just got to keep doing the job I’ve got at hand. I was finishing my GCSEs and starting my A-Levels when Joshua and Whyte had their first fight. It’s just another fight, another fight that I’ve got to train hard for and win. That’s all it is.

“It’s the right time to step things up. The appetite is there. Life is all about moving forwards and building momentum – I’ve got to keep progressing. I could have probably got to 15 or 20 fights without fighting anyone of note, I know Harry Armstrong isn’t a world-beater but he’s very solid and he’s strong and tough. Harry is a good boxer with fast hands. I’ve sparred him before. He’ll give me a good test and that’s what I need. You’ll see the best out of me when I’m tested.

“That’s the pinnacle for me – fighting on a big PPV show on the undercard of two of the idols I used to watch growing up – Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua. I’ve got so much respect for them guys. To be on their undercard and be a small part of a big boxing journey for those guys is special. It’s a good box ticked for me.”

Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn was impressed with Fisher and believes he has bigger domestic fights on the horizon should he come through a tough test with Armstrong.

“He looks great,” Hearn said. “Now it’s the serious stuff. Harry Armstrong, who’s been slung in at the deep end a few times at short notice. He’s a very good fighter and this is actually a very tough fight. It’s time for Johnny. He wanted this fight. We told him he could do another little eight-rounder but he said, ‘no, it’s time now – I want a real test and I want ten rounds’.

“There’s a huge amount of pressure doing it at The O2 in front of an 18,000 sell-out crowd on a massive AJ night as well. The place is going to erupt. He’s just got to stay calm, but he’s had those moments now where he’s walked out on big shows and had those big experiences. I think he’s ready. If he comes through this fight I believe he will start headlining shows and filling arenas himself.

“This route that he is taking is such a beautiful traditional route. You always talk about British, Commonwealth, European – this is deeper than that. This is Southern Area, English , British, Commonwealth and European. That’s the route over the next 6, 7, 8 fights for Johnny Fisher. It’s a big fight for Johnny and for Essex as well.”

Fisher vs. Armstrong is part of a huge night of action in London; two-time unified Heavyweight World Champion Anthony Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) and former World Title challenger Dillian Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) lock horns again nearly eight years on from their wild British and Commonwealth Title clash in Greenwich, IBF Mandatory World Title challenger Filip Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs) clashes with Australia’s undefeated contender Demsey McKean (22-0, 14 KO), Hyde Super-Lightweight Campbell Hatton (12-0, 5 KOs) takes on Hitchen’s Tom Ansell (10-4, 2 KOs) over eight rounds and there’s action for Billericay Middleweight George Liddard (3-0, 3 KOs) and Eltham Super-Flyweight Maiseyrose Courtney (3-0), with more fights announced soon.

Filip Hrgovic battles McKean on Joshua-Whyte 2 undercard

IBF Mandatory World Title challenger Filip Hrgovic will clash with Australia’s undefeated contender Demsey McKean on a huge sold-out night of boxing at The O2 in London on Saturday August 12, shown exclusively live on DAZN around the world and on DAZN PPV in the UK and Ireland.

The 12-round Heavyweight clash in association with Wasserman Boxing lands on the undercard of the eagerly-anticipated rematch between former two-time World Champion Anthony Joshua and World Title challenger Dillian Whyte, who reignite their bitter rivalry nearly eight years on from their first meeting in Greenwich.

Croatian star Hrgovic (15-0, 12 KOs), a Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze medallist, scored the biggest win of his professional career to date when he outpointed China’s Zhilei Zhang over twelve gruelling rounds on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua 2 in Saudi Arabia last August.

That win, which was a Final Eliminator for the IBF Heavyweight World Title, has aged gracefully after 2008 Olympic Silver medallist Zhang upset Joe Joyce via a punishing sixth-round stoppage at London’s Copper Box Arena in April to win the WBO Heavyweight Interim Title.

Queensland’s McKean (22-0, 14 KO), who is trained by Tony Sims at the Matchroom Elite Boxing Gym in Essex, stopped Germany’s Patrick Korte in three rounds to claim the vacant IBF Intercontinental Title last time out at the South Bank Piazza in South Brisbane in what was Matchroom’s first event Down Under.

Romford Heavyweight sensation Johnny Fisher (9-0, 8 KOs) has looked unstoppable so far on his professional journey, and the 24-year-old prospect has the opportunity to land his first belt when he faces off with Torquay’s Harry Armstrong (5-1-1) for the vacant Southern Area Title, with more undercard additions to be announced soon.

“The Heavyweight Champions cannot avoid me any longer and once I have defeated Demsey McKean on August 12, they will have no other option but to face me. I have waited patiently and bided my time but the game is up, ‘El Animal’ is coming for you and is ready to take the belts back to Croatia.

“McKean will be a tough and strong opponent, but he has never faced anyone as powerful and skillful as me.

“August 12, at The O2 in London, is the night the Heavyweight division starts to change.”

“This is what it’s all about, the big fights,” said McKean. “I’ve been grinding a big portion of my life for a fight like this. I’m one win away from fighting Usyk for four World Titles. This is my World Title fight.”

Joshua on fight with Wilder, Fury: ‘I’m not wasting my time chasing people’

Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte will get it on one more time on Saturday, August 12, at sold-out The O2 in London(DAZN PPV).

In the amateurs, Whyte (29-3-0, 19 KOs) got the best of Joshua, but as a pro, Joshua stopped Whyte in 2015. 

Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) should probably beat Whyte, and many people believe he will; however, despite that fact, he knows this fight is good for business.

 “There are a lot of names in the division, but at the same time, look at what this fight does,” Joshua said at a press conference at London’s Hilton Syon Park Hotel. “I’m a fighter, but I also understand business, and this fight does good business.

“He {Dillian Whyte] is just another body. They’ve got a lot of hate for me. But I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about my lane and what I’m trying to do. I don’t focus on other people’s opinions.”

If Joshua defeats Whyte, rumors are swirling that he could fight the former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next, but according to Joshua, who continues to train with Derrick James, he’s not chasing any fighter right now.

“Forget [Deontay] Wilder and all them lot,” Joshua said. “They’ve been doing my head in for years, even with [Tyson] Fury. You can see all the lies that have been going on. I’m 34 this year, and I’m not wasting my time chasing people. I have to have an underlining respect for every man who steps in the ring with me. I could fight now. I’ve got a brilliant trainer – a serious trainer. And we’ll see where it goes. 

Whyte, 35, says this is a must-win fight for him.

“Is this a must-win fight?” Whyte said. “Every fight I’ve had with Matchroom has been like that. But I don’t worry about that. Let’s see what happens.”

If Joshua wants to continue to make noise, he will need to win this fight, which he should have no problem doing. Hopefully, if he does win, a fight with Wilder is next.

Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Joshua-Whyte 2 set for August 12 in London

British Heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte will meet in an explosive rematch at The O2 in London on Saturday August 12(DAZN PPV).

Two-time unified Heavyweight World Champion Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) and former World Title challenger Whyte (29-3, 19 KOs) lock horns again nearly eight years on from their wild British Title clash in Greenwich, which Joshua won by a huge seventh-round stoppage to end a thrilling war.

Brixton’s Whyte has a long-running rivalry with Joshua, having beaten the Watford man on points as an amateur back in 2009 before Joshua won an Olympic gold medal at London 2012 which kick-started his meteoric rise to global stardom.

‘AJ’ went on to unify the Heavyweight division, winning the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO crowns as he became one of the biggest athletes on the planet with a string of wins against the likes on Charles Martin, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz and Kubrat Pulev.

The 33-year-old convincingly outpointed Jermaine Franklin at The O2 earlier this year as he returned to winning ways under new trainer Derrick James following back-to-back defeats to Ukrainian pound-for-pound great Oleksandr Usyk in 2021 and 2022.

Whyte, whose last win also came via a points decision against the USA’s Franklin last year, fell short in his record-breaking World Title challenge against undefeated WBC ruler Tyson Fury at Wembley Stadium in April 2022, succumbing to a sixth-round TKO loss.

The Jamaican-born warrior, 36, has aspirations of fighting for another World Title and knows that a win over his old foe Joshua next month will put him in prime position for another mega-fight against one of the division’s other glamour names later this year

“I’ve been clear that my plan is to be active this year,” said Joshua. “August 12 is the date, I’ll be ready to fight. I look forward to dealing with business.”

“I’m looking forward to returning to the London O2 on August 12 and going to war,” said Whyte. “It’s 1-1 so this is the decider!”

“I can’t quite believe this fight is happening and there was absolutely no stopping either man,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “The rivalry runs deep and there is something about these two where they will never back down from each other. At times it may have looked like a game of bluff but now we are set and with everything that’s on the line this is an absolute must win for both. Just like the first time at The O2, get ready for fireworks August 12 and a huge night of boxing live on DAZN.”

Franklin: ‘They’re probably looking at me like I’m a pushover’

Jermaine Franklin has warned Anthony Joshua that he is in for a “rude awakening” when they clash in a scheduled 12-round Heavyweight contest at The O2 in London this Saturday April 1.(DAZN)

Former two-time Heavyweight Champion Joshua makes his highly anticipated return to the ring on UK soil following his second loss to pound-for-pound star and unified World Champion Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia, but Franklin insists that he isn’t here just to make up the numbers.

Saginaw’s ‘989 Assassin’ pushed Dillian Whyte all the way in a close points loss at Wembley’s OVO Arena last November and is relishing his shot against one of the biggest names in the sport, and a famous win against ‘AJ’ would guarantee Franklin further opportunities in the glamour division.

“For him, they say his career is on the line. For me, everything is on the line,” said Franklin. “That’s how I treat every fight. I’ve been boxing all my life and I’m not nervous for this. If you get nervous, you’re in the wrong sport.

“They’re probably looking at me like I’m a pushover or a walkover or something like that but they’re going to be in for a rude awakening. A goal of mine is I want to be a unified World Champion. I just want to help boxers. I love the sport and I want to continue to help other fighters grow. I want to give back to the sport what it gave to me.

“The circumstances around this fight are very different. For the Dillian fight I was working a job before we got that phone call. I wasn’t in the gym. We took like 5-7 weeks to get in shape for that fight. For the time I had I did what I could. This time I’ve got more time to prepare and more time to get in shape. We’re doing all we can.

“I showed people what I could do against Dillian. I showed people I can hang up there with some of the best. Dillian is a top 10/top 15 fighter and I showed people what I’m capable of. I don’t feel like I lost. We came home and we worked on stuff. We got better and we perfected our craft. We learned some different techniques and ways to attack.”

The once-beaten Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) believes he did more than enough to secure the victory over Whyte – and some observers felt the same way. The 29-year-old contender expects to face the very best version of Joshua and feels the British star is far from finished.

“My performance against Dillian most definitely led to this fight. He could have picked anybody that he wanted to but he chose me. Maybe he’s trying to prove to himself that he can do something to me that Dillian couldn’t. Who knows. We don’t play boxing. I’ve come here to wake him and the rest of the world up.

“I feel like I’m winning hands down at the end of the fight. As far as him with the trainers and stuff, I can’t pinpoint on what kind of style he’s going to try to use. We just do our job and prepare for whatever style. Get ready to see a new and improved Jermaine Franklin.

“Fans are going to see me come out and fight way better fight than the Dillian fight. It is time for people to take me seriously. This is my new dawn. It’s my time to make my claim. I want to knock his ass out, that’s the goal.”

Joshua vs. Franklin headlines a night of boxing in London, British Heavyweight Champion Fabio Wardley (15-0, 14 KOs) meets American Michael Polite-Coffie (13-3, 10 KOs) for the vacant WBA Continental title, taly’s European Middleweight ruler Matteo Signani (32-6-3, 12 KOs) defends his title against former British and Commonwealth Champion Felix Cash (16-0, 10 KOs), undefeated Texas Middleweight Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (13-0 9 KOs) fights in the UK for the third time against Coventry’s River Wilson-Bent (14-2-1, 6 KOs), Campbell Hatton (10-0, 3 KOs) is back in action against Louis Fielding (10-7, 1 KO) after hitting double figures in Liverpool in March, Essex’s John Hedges (7-0 2 KOs) lands his first eight round clash against Poland’s Daniel Bocianski (11-2, 2 KOs), Jordan Flynn (8-0, 1 KO) faces the stiffest examination of his credentials when he meets Birmingham stalwart Kane Baker (18-9-1 1 KO) over eight rounds, Albanian Cruiserweight Juergen Uldedaj (15-0, 6 KOs) takes on Switzerland’s Benoit Huber (8-3, 6 KOs) over eight rounds, Ziya Almaayouf (2-0, 1 KO) faces Bulgaria’s Georgi Velichkov (3-10, 3 KOs) over four rounds and German Heavyweight Peter Kadiru (14-1, 7 KOs) opens the evening’s action against Macedonia’s Alen Lauriolle (6-1, 3 KOs) over six rounds.

Wardley-Polite-Coffie headline Joshua-Franklin undercard

Rising British Heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley will face American Michael Polite-Coffie on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s clash with Jermaine Franklin at The O2 in London on Saturday April 1, live worldwide on DAZN – as Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams will look to close in on a clash with rival Felix Cash, with ‘Ammo’ meeting River Wilson-Bent before Cash challenges Matteo Signani for the European Middleweight Title.

Cash and Williams have been slated to clash in a big Middleweight battle in 2023, and the fierce rivals will look to rubberstamp that showdown with victories in London. Williams (13-0 9 KOs) fights in the UK for the third time and in his second showing at the Greenwich venue, having stepped through the ropes in his fourth pro fight there in October 2019 and then stopping former World Title challenger Javier Maciel in February 2022 at Alexandra Palace.

The 26 year old, ranked at number three in the WBA, ended 2022 with a pair of ten round wins over Kieron Conway and Simon Madsen, and will be looking for a statement win over Wilson-Bent (14-2-1, 6 KOs), the Coventry man who has boxed for the Commonwealth, WBC Silver and English Titles in the last year.

Cash’s European Title tilt was announced in February, and now his future American foe has been added to the bill, his clash with Signani takes on even more significance as the Wokingham man looks to make up for lost time after enduring a frustrating 2022 in which he picked up two wins.

Italy’s European Middleweight ruler Signani (32-6-3, 12 KOs) landed the title for the first time against Gevorg Khatchikian in Trento back in October 2019 before making successful defences against Maxime Beaussire in 2020 and Ruben Diaz in May 2021. ‘Il Giaguaro’ lost the belt to Anderson Prestot on a technical decision in June last year but avenged that loss in November.

Former British and Commonwealth Champion Cash (16-0, 10 KOs) is looking to add the EBU crown to his collection after enduring a frustrating 2022 in which he picked up two wins. Cash and Williams went face-to-face with him in a fiery ringside encounter in Leeds after Cash’s December outing in Yorkshire.

Wardley (15-0, 14 KOs) is riding high after claiming the vacant British Title in November with a third round stoppage over Nathan Gormley at Wembley Arena in London, and the Ipswich ace returns to the capital for his fourth straight fight and third in that run at The O2, and meets American Polite-Coffie (13-3, 10 KOs) in his first fight of 2023, with the Floridian aiming to hand a first defeat to Wardley, who now has Solomon Dacres breathing down his next for a shot at the coveted Lord Lonsdale belt after he claimed the English Title in Newcastle on Saturday night.

Campbell Hatton (10-0, 3 KOs) is back in action after hitting double figures in Liverpool in March, and the son of British boxing legend Ricky will meet Staffordshire’s experienced Louis Fielding (10-7, 1 KOs) in his first eight round battle in the paid ranks and Essex’s John Hedges (7-0 2 KOs) lands his first eight round clash against Poland’s Daniel Bocianski (11-2, 2 KOs).

The previously announced clash between Craig Richards and Ricards Bolotniks has been postponed after Richards suffered a hand injury.

Joshua-Franklin set for April 1

Former two-time unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) fights at The O2 in London for the first time since 2016 as he begins life under the tutelage of new head trainer Derrick James.

Joshua returns to the scene of his first World Title win over Charles Martin to face another American contender in Jermain Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) on April 1.

Franklin pushed Dillian Whyte all the way in a close points loss at Wembley’s OVO Arena last November and is relishing his shot against one of the biggest names in the sport. British megastar Joshua is ready to begin his ascent back to the top of the Heavyweight division after suffering back-to-back losses to pound-for-pound great Oleksandr Usyk in London and Saudi Arabia.

This fight will be the first in Joshua’s new five-year partnership with DAZN to be streamed live, exclusive and worldwide on the digital sports entertainment platform.

Joshua vs. Franklin will be included in the £9.99 per month DAZN saver subscription, making it the first fight in over eight years that fans do not need to pay an additional pay-per-view fee to watch Joshua.

 “I’m looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1 at The O2 in London.” said Joshua. “Mentally and physically I feel ready. I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards. Franklin has a good style and a great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights. This will be my first fight broadcast on DAZN in the UK and it will be globally available on the platform. I want to thank DAZN for supporting both myself and the sport of boxing as a whole. I would also like to thank the team at 258 and Matchroom Boxing.”

“I’m ready to show the world why it’s time for me to take my place at the top of the Heavyweight division,” said Franklin. “Joshua had his time.  It’s my time to shock the world! This fight isn’t going to the judge’s card. I will have win number 22 come April 1. That ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”

Alongside Joshua vs. Franklin, Matchroom and DAZN have announced its largest ever schedule of content for the first half of 2023 that will see even more iconic and emerging boxing talent, including five other premium fights, on its platform alongside an ever-greater roster of other sporting entertainment.

The following shows will be shown live and exclusive on DAZN with further fights and full undercard details to be announced shortly:

Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin on fight with Whyte: ‘I’m here to spoil his party’

Undefeated heavyweight contender Jermaine Franklin sent a stern warning to Dillian Whyte as he looks to stamp his credentials as a future world champion in their headlining clash this Saturday night taking place at Wembley Arena in London and streaming live on DAZN.

“This is my chance to show that I can go toe-to-toe with any heavyweight in the world,” said Franklin, who owns a perfect 21-0 record with 14 knockouts. “I’ve had a great training camp and I’m super motivated to be in the U.K. and win on my opponent’s home turf. I’m coming to finish him, so he better not be looking past me.”

Franklin has worked his way into heavyweight contention with 2019 triumphs over Rydell Booker, Jerry Forrest and Pavel Sour, before most recently stopping Rodney Moore in May. Saginaw, Michigan’s Franklin has been one of many fighters from Michigan, including women’s boxing superstar Claressa Shields. With a victory on Saturday night, Franklin’s promoter, Dmitriy Salita, believes he can solidify himself as one of the standouts from the area.

“Everybody knows that Jermaine has tremendous skill and heart, but they’re going to see him take it to another level against Dillian Whyte,” said Salita. “He’s been a big part of the comeback for boxing in Michigan and I truly believe that after Saturday night, he’s going to be one of the first guys you have to mention when talking about boxing in and around the area. The sky is the limit for him and I know that he’s doing everything possible to put on the best performance of his career in this fight.”

The 29-year-old Franklin will be looking to hand Whyte his second-straight loss after the London-resident dropped an April bout against WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury. Although Franklin has made it clear that his focus is squarely on Whyte, he and his promoter both know that a triumph on Saturday could lead to a blockbuster clash against another notable U.K. heavyweight, former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua.

“I’ve never looked past any fighter and I’m not going to start with Dillian Whyte,” said Franklin. “I know that nothing I want happens unless I go in there and be the fighter that I know I am. Anthony Joshua is another big name and everyone knows that’s who Whyte wants next. But I’m here to spoil his party and step right in there to add Joshua’s name to my resume as well. No one can deny me my shot after that.”