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Joshua says he has put his ‘heart back’ into boxing

Former heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua says he is still feeling fresh as he targets his first win since 2020 after putting “his heart” back into boxing.

The British boxer will face Jermaine Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on April 1 after losing his previous two fights to Ukraine’s 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 has fought 27 times professionally, but the 33-year-old says he still feels “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… I’ve taken so much punishment’ or I’m war-torn,” he said. “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.”

Joshua 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 Franklin bout.

“I’m not there for anything else, I’m a serious person so I am not there for anything else,” said Joshua. “Throughout my career this is probably the most serious I have taken it.”


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