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Jermaine Franklin reacted to the news that his fight with Anthony Joshua is still not sold out with less than two weeks to go. Ticket prices were reportedly slashed last week in an attempt to fill the 16,000-seater but there are still roughly 1,000 left as fight night swiftly approaches.
Over the years, Joshua has consistently filled the O2 in a matter of days but has struggled to shift tickets for his comeback fight on April 1. Many believe this is a sign that the public has ‘grown tired’ of Joshua while others put it down to the cost-of-living crisis. Regardless AJ finds himself in unprecedented circumstances.
Franklin speculates that the poor sales could be down to a dip in Joshua’s pulling power and claims the fight would have sold better if it was staged in the United States.
Speaking exclusively to Express Sport, he said: “I saw that, but you know that’s on him, this is his country. If we had this in America I’m pretty sure we would have had more of a turnout. That’s on him, maybe they don’t want to see him, maybe they’re tired of him.
“It’s on both of us to a degree because we’re both fighters but you know I’m coming to a place where I’m fairly unknown. I got known from the Dillian Whyte fight but I’m still fairly unknown here but if you expected me to come over and sell a s*** load of tickets I don’t know what promoter would think that would make financial sense?
“Ya’ll was banking on AJ selling out the O2 like he done plenty of times but like I say people are probably tired of AJ. They saying they don’t want to see it; a lot of people think I’m a tune-up fighter or some s*** like that so I’m going to have to open their eyes up.
“It’s boxing, it’s the only sport that’s like that. You can be a world champion for ten years, lose the next day and then they’re going to say you’re washed, you’re trash, you’re a bum.”
Eddie Hearn has declared that the event will be full on the night and says that the ticket situation has been blown out of proportion by media organisations – what certainly hasn’t been is the importance of the fight for Joshua’s career.
A win against Franklin opens doors to blockbuster showdowns against the upper echelons of the division while a loss could spell the end of his time at the top.