EXCLUSIVE: Michael Coffie claims Jermaine Franklin BEAT Dillian Whyte in their November 2022 bout… but insists he is putting his ‘money on Anthony Joshua’ to emerge victorious at the O2 this weekend
Michael Coffie says Anthony Joshua must not underestimate Jermaine Franklin as he believes the American heavyweight beat Dillian Whyte in their November 2022 clash despite losing on points.
Franklin – who trained alongside Tyson Fury in the build-up to his showdown with Whyte – will return to the ring on Saturday night to face Joshua in an all-important heavyweight clash.
Franklin, 29, is looking to cause an upset at the O2 Arena and establish himself as a serious heavyweight contender – having lost 115-115, 116-112 and 116-112 to Whyte last year.
The American felt he was robbed by the judges and Coffie seemed to agree the American should have won the fight. However, Coffie didn’t deem it a robbery – claiming Franklin edged past the British star.
Speaking to Sportsmail, Coffie said: ‘Okay so this is how I think about it. Jermaine Franklin is a very good fighter. That fight with him and Dillian Whyte, I thought he won. I thought he edged it. But, it was a close fight though.
Michael Coffie says Anthony Joshua must not underestimate Jermaine Franklin on Saturday
Anthony Joshua and Jermaine Franklin will go toe-to-toe on Saturday evening at the O2 Arena
‘So, Dillian Whyte getting the decision, I wasn’t tripping about that. If I had to put my money on it, I would pick AJ. It is what it is.’
Coffie will take on Fabio Wardley on the same night – stepping into the ring before Joshua and Franklin go toe-to-toe.
Coffie says he is excited for the fight and insists he is ready to ‘weather the storm’ against the British heavyweight.
Speaking during the press conference, Coffie said: ‘This is a fight that I was actually talking about a lot before the call even came. I guess it just manifested itself.
‘To me, the only thing I’m seeing is the W. I know it is going to be a good fight. I expect it to be action packed and difficult but I’m ready to weather the storm.’
While Wardley said: ‘I’m really buzzing to get back to The O2. It has turned into my home away from home. I’ve boxed there I don’t know how many times now, five or six.
‘I’ve said loads of times, there’s nothing that really beats at packed out O2 Arena. That atmosphere, that buzz, is something I live for and I thrive off.
‘When I’m in the thick of it in a fight and the crowd is going nuts, it is one of those special moments that you don’t get in any other arena.
‘Saturday night is going to be the same. There’s one thing that I do and that’s entertain the fans, however it comes, maybe to the concern of my team and stuff.
Coffie (right) will be fighting Fabio Wardley (left) at the O2 Arena before AJ and Franklin
Wardley is excited about Saturday and says the O2 has turned into his home away from home
‘I get myself in some sticky situations but I live for those moments, that buzz and that thrill of the fight. Just really getting stuck in is everything that I’m about.
‘It has been a crazy journey starting at white collar at a show that has maybe 200 people in to now at The O2 that’s got 17,000 people in.
‘It has been a wild ride but I’m thankful for every day and I’m thankful for the opportunity. I’ve boxed as chief support on some big cards in the past but nothing beats an AJ card and nothing beats a packed out O2 Arena.
‘Those two things are going to bring out the best in me. It is going to be a great performance again on Saturday.’
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