Jermaine Franklin on Dillian Whyte: “He probably used them (drugs) when we fought”

After a series of defeats, how do you reflect on your victory last month against Isaac Munoz Gutierrez? I had a strong fight and performed well. I believe I could have done a bit more, but considering the limited time I had to prepare, I’m overall satisfied with my performance. However, being my own worst critic, I feel like I could have done better. I was experimenting with a new style, trying some new techniques, so it’s back to the drawing board for me. My new style focused on being more aggressive, moving forward instead of constantly backing up. It’s a response to my previous defeats as I believe I could have been more aggressive in those fights. Winning is always a huge relief, but I try not to be too hard on myself. Boxing is a challenging sport, we put our lives on the line and train relentlessly, so a loss can be discouraging. But I go back to the gym, watch film, analyze my mistakes, and learn from them. I don’t view losing as a disappointment, but rather as a lesson. It didn’t affect my confidence.

Despite not being a Matchroom fighter, you have been prominently featured on Matchroom bills for the third time in a row. Were you promised other opportunities in the event of victory? No, I haven’t been promised any more opportunities. I haven’t heard anything, but I would like a rematch with both Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua. I want to avenge both of my losses.

What’s next for you? Hopefully, I will continue to perform at a high level. I’m aiming to be back in the ring by November or December. I’m back in the gym, training hard, and refining my skills. I’m working on incorporating my new style and hopefully, I’ll receive a call for another fight soon.

How good is Dillian Whyte? He is a skilled fighter. He has a strong physique, he’s tough, and he brings a lot of determination to his fights. I think many people underestimate him, but he has taken on tough opponents that others wouldn’t have faced. I respect him for that. He is still considered one of the top heavyweight fighters in the world, although rankings can change constantly.

How good is Anthony Joshua? Joshua is a talented fighter. He has impressive power and a solid jab and right counter. However, in my opinion, he lacks confidence. Skills-wise, he is better than Whyte. But Whyte has a certain level of determination and heart that makes him a tough opponent. When we fought, Whyte was more confident in his abilities. Joshua was stronger and had more power, but I believe I can handle both of them. Joshua is the stronger puncher, though.

What’s your take on Joshua squaring up to you after the final bell of your fight? Honestly, I was confused by the situation. Throughout the fight, we had been trash-talking each other. After the fight, I tried to congratulate his team, but he put his head on me and started talking, though I couldn’t understand what he was saying. He seemed to be pushing me back, and I reacted by pushing him away. He then started saying a bunch of nonesense. He apologized later, saying it was a heat-of-the-moment thing. In the boxing world, these things happen, but where I come from, if someone acts like that and wants to start a problem, we don’t shy away from it. I didn’t want any trouble, but if he wanted to make it an issue, I was ready for it. The “AJ” fight affected my attitude a bit. I’m usually calm, but I was more agitated. I struggled to concentrate and lost focus, which allowed my anger to control me. I don’t want to say I wasn’t focused, but my anger did affect my game plan. We’ve been working on being more aggressive and controlling my emotions during training.

You fought Joshua in his first fight under Derrick James. Should we expect more improvement from him this weekend? That’s the question. Joshua isn’t young anymore, so there’s a limit to how much a new coach can teach him. It’s challenging to learn new things when you have old habits ingrained in your style. It takes time to erase those old habits and incorporate new techniques. I don’t know if he has been with James long enough to make significant adjustments.

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