ANTHONY JOSHUA RETURNS HOME TO FIGHT JERMAINE FRANKLIN ON APRIL 1
Tue, 07 Feb 2023
BLOCKBUSTER BOUT TO BE INCLUDED IN DAZN SUBSCRIPTION
MATCHROOM AND DAZN ANNOUNCE FIRST 2023 SHOWS INCLUDING TAYLOR VS. SERRANO II ON MAY 20 IN DUBLIN
• Former two-time Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua returns to our screens to face Jermaine Franklin live from the The O2 in London on Saturday April 1
• ALL fights to be included in £9.99 monthly DAZN subscription, marking the first time in over eight years that Joshua has not been on pay-per-view in the UK
• Taylor vs. Serrano II, Callum Smith, Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez and Joe Cordina all return to the ring
Former two-time unified Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) fights at The O2 in London for the first time since 2016 as he begins life under the tutelage of new head trainer Derrick James. ‘AJ’ returns to the scene of his first World Title win over Charles Martin to face another American contender in Jermain Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs). Saginaw’s ‘989 Assassin’ pushed Dillian Whyte all the way in a close points loss at Wembley’s OVO Arena last November and is relishing his shot against one of the biggest names in the sport. British megastar Joshua is ready to begin his ascent back to the top of the Heavyweight division after suffering back-to-back losses to pound-for-pound great Oleksandr Usyk in London and Saudi Arabia.
This fight will be the first in Joshua’s new five-year partnership with DAZN to be streamed live, exclusive and worldwide on the digital sports entertainment platform, which is fast becoming the undisputed Global Home of Boxing. Joshua vs. Franklin will be included in the £9.99 per month DAZN saver subscription, making it the first fight in over eight years that fans do not need to pay an additional pay-per-view fee to watch Joshua. Beyond the UK, DAZN is available in over 200 territories. Simple to download as an app on Smart TVs, games consoles, tablets and mobiles, and subscribed to with one-click, being on DAZN will make this the most accessible Joshua fight ever.
“I'm looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1 at The O2 in London.” said Joshua. “Mentally and physically I feel ready. I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards. Franklin has a good style and a great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights. This will be my first fight broadcast on DAZN in the UK and it will be globally available on the platform. I want to thank DAZN for supporting both myself and the sport of boxing as a whole. I would also like to thank the team at 258 and Matchroom Boxing.”
“I’m ready to show the world why it’s time for me to take my place at the top of the Heavyweight division,” said Franklin. “Joshua had his time. It’s my time to shock the world! This fight isn’t going to the judge’s card. I will have win number 22 come April 1. That ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”
Alongside Joshua vs. Franklin, Matchroom and DAZN have announced its largest ever schedule of content for the first half of 2023 that will see even more iconic and emerging boxing talent, including five other premium fights, on its platform alongside an ever-greater roster of other sporting entertainment.
The following shows will be shown live and exclusive on DAZN with further fights and full undercard details to be announced shortly:
• Saturday, February 18: Leigh Wood vs. Mauricio Lara
Hometown hero Leigh Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) puts his WBA Featherweight World Title on the line against big-punching Mexican Mauricio Lara (25-2-1, 18 KOs) as Matchroom’s 2023 schedule in the UK begins with a bang. ‘Leigh-thal’ memorably stopped Michael Conlan in the 12th and final round of his epic first defence of the WBA 126lbs title back in March 2022, knocking the Irishman out of the ring in brutal fashion to end their Fight of the Year stunner. ‘Bronco’ has been waiting patiently for his shot at Wood after their eagerly anticipated September 24 fight was postponed following a torn bicep suffered by Wood in sparring, but the Featherweight KO artist finally gets his dream World Title opportunity this month in what promises to be an epic battle between two knockout artists.
• Saturday, March 11: Callum Smith vs. Pawel Stepien
The WBC’s No.1 ranked Light-Heavyweight contender Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) returns home to face undefeated Pole Pawel Stepien (18-0-1, 12 KOs) at the M&S Bank Arena as he looks to secure a showdown with unified WBC, WBO and IBF ruler Artur Beterbiev later in the year. A stacked undercard sees Australia’s WBO Global Super-Lightweight Champion Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) put his title on the line against local favourite Robbie Davies Jr (23-3, 15 KOs) following his sensational first-round KO win over fellow Aussie Brock Jarvis last October. One of the hottest prospects in America Diego Pacheco (17-0, 14 KOs) fights in the UK for the first time as faces another step up against Little Lever’s all-action Super-Middleweight Jack Cullen (21-3-1, 9 KOs). Full undercard details to follow.
• Saturday, March 18: Cyrus Pattinson vs. Chris Jenkins
Matchroom’s first NXTGEN card of the year at the Utilita Arena Newcastle features some of the very best prospects in the North East looking to take the next steps in their promising careers. Former Team GB standout Cyrus Pattinson (5-0, 3 KOs) faces his toughest test so far in the professional ranks against Wales’ former British Welterweight Champion Chris Jenkins (23-6-3, 8 KOs) while Tokyo 2020 Olympic Silver Medallist turned Welterweight prospect Pat McCormack (3-0, 2 KOs) looks to wow his home crowd against Italy’s Dario Socci (15-7-2, 6 KOs) in his first scheduled eight-round contest. Also on the card, Birmingham’s Solomon Dacres (5-0, 1 KO) squares off with Newcastle’s Robert Ismay (11-0, 4 KOs) for the English Heavyweight Title.
• Saturday, April 8: Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez vs. Cristian Gonzalez
Boxing’s youngest World Champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) attempts to become a two-weight ruler when he clashes with Cristian ‘El Chicharito’ Gonzalez (15-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO 112lbs at the Boeing Center at Tech Port, San Antonio. The 23-year-old sensation from San Antonio, Texas enjoyed a stellar 2022, becoming boxing’s youngest active World Champion in February, stepping in late to meet Carlos Cuadras for the vacant WBC Super-Flyweight strap in Phoenix and then putting on a stunning display in his first defence, stopping Thai star Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on his San Antonio home turf in June inside eight rounds. He was named the Fighter of the Year by ESPN in their midyear awards for 2022 before outpointing Israel Gonzalez on the ‘Canelo’ vs. ‘GGG’ undercard in September.
• Saturday, April 22: Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov vs. Joe Cordina
Unbeaten Welshman Joe Cordina (15-0, 9 KOs) attempts to win his IBF Super-Featherweight World Title back against current belt-holder Shavkatdzhon Rakhmiov (17-0-1, 14 KOs) at the Cardiff International Arena. ‘The Welsh Wizard’ captured the famous red and gold belt with a stunning one-punch knockout of Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa on a memorable night at the arena last June. Cordina was scheduled to make the first defence of his World Title against Rakhimov in Abu Dhabi last November but suffered a hand injury that required surgery and was subsequently stripped of his title by the IBF. Rakhimov won the vacant title by stopping Manchester’s Zelfa Barrett in nine rounds on the undercard of Dmitry Bivol vs. Gilberto Ramirez.
• Saturday, May 20: Katie Taylor vs. Amanda Serrano 2
Irish legend Katie Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs) fights in Ireland for the first time in her professional career, putting her Undisputed Lightweight World Title on the line once more against Puerto Rican star Amanda Serrano (44-2-1, 30 KOs) in an unmissable rematch. Taylor cemented herself as the greatest female fighter on the planet by edging out Serrano in an epic fight for the ages on an iconic night at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York last April. The global superstar retained her belts after a Fight of the Year contender with multi-division World Champion Serrano – the first women’s boxing bout to headline the famous MSG in its 140-year history, attracting an unprecedented audience of 1.5 million tuning in globally on DAZN.
Alongside this jampacked schedule of boxing, in the last 12 months DAZN has added 75 media properties to its UK offering, giving – in particular – combat sports fans access to the widest range of live and on demand content. The Professional Fighters League (PFL) partnered with DAZN to launch PFL Europe, the inaugural event will be held in Newcastle on 25 March and broadcast globally on DAZN.
In the UK DAZN is available as a Monthly Saver (x12) at £9.99, an Annual Super Saver priced at £99.99 and a Flexible Monthly Pass priced at £19.99.
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