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Despite defeats, Joshua maintains that he is one of the world’s best heavyweights

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Despite defeats, Joshua maintains that he is one of the world's best heavyweights

Anthony Joshua insists he is still one of the world’s top heavyweights ahead of his return to the ring next weekend.

The British boxer will return to action on Saturday when he takes on American Jermaine Franklin at London’s 02 Arena.

The 33-year-old will be looking for his first victory since 2020, when he was defeated by Oleksandr Usyk and lost, and then failed to reclaim, several versions of the world heavyweight title.

Joshua is no longer ranked in the top three by the WBA, WBO, WBC, or IBF.

But his confidence is intact, and when asked who he believes are the best heavyweights in the world right now, Joshua responded Saturday: “Usyk, (Tyson) Fury, and myself.”

“I assign rankings. How many years have I been in the top ten? I’ve been in the top ten for about eight years, so I rate them.”

He continued, “It’s also about who you fight.” Rankings are important, but you also need to compete against the big names.”

Both Britain’s Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois are ranked higher than Joshua in the WBO and WBA rankings, implying that one of them will face Usyk next.

The Ukrainian was scheduled to face WBC champion Tyson Fury in a unification fight next month.

However, the competition appears to have been cancelled, at least for the time being, after talks between the two camps broke down.

The collapse of that fight, however, could pave the way for a ‘Battle of Britain,’ with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn saying he would be willing to speak with Fury’s management if Joshua’s fight with Franklin goes well.

However, a highly anticipated competition has twice failed to materialise, with negotiations between Hearn and veteran promoter Frank Warren ending in squabbles.

Joshua had no reservations about Fury‘s popularity among British boxing fans, saying, “He’s a people’s champion.” The only way I can compete with him is in the ring.”

 

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