Anthony Joshua calls out ‘clown’ pundits after Amir Khan and Carl Froch comments

Anthony Joshua has said he refuses to ‘entertain clowns’, responding to criticism from boxing pundits as he prepares to fight Jermaine Franklin.

Joshua will face American Franklin at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, as the Briton seeks to move on from back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk.

Usyk outpointed Joshua in 2021 to win the unified heavyweight titles, which he retained in a rematch with Joshua last August, beating the 33-year-old via decision again. “AJ”’s defeats have drawn criticism from former boxers who now work as pundits, and Joshua has explained his decision to largely stay quiet on their comments.

“I just think these people don’t get me; they’re not on my wavelength,” Joshua told reporters on Wednesday (29 March). “I don’t use boxing as a platform to rant and rave and disrespect my opponents, or act a certain way to prove I am a certain way.

“These people that talk about me are looking for me to say something back, but I don’t have much to say, because these people are not on my level. What do I want to entertain a clown for? That’s what it is.

“If someone has got something to say to me, they can call me. They have my number, I don’t need to go online and voice my opinions on my enemies. I prefer to be silent. If I have something to say about you, you will see me face to face. I will not go online and do it from behind a camera.

“And when these people see you, at a press conference or whatever, they go: ‘AJ, how are you mate?’ How does that work?”

Joshua specifically addressed past comments by former world champions Carl Froch and Amir Khan.

“When it was Froch, I messaged him direct and said: ‘What you talking s*** about me for? Message me.’ With Khan and that s*** with his missus, why was he going online? Just message me if you have something to say.

“I just find it awkward, because my background, where I come from, it’s not about chasing clout; it is about results.”

Joshua’s fight with Franklin, 29, is his first non-world-title bout since 2015, when he stopped Dillian Whyte.

Meanwhile, Franklin’s most recent fight came against Whyte in November. The American suffered a controversial decision defeat by Whyte, with many fans and pundits feeling that Franklin had done enough to win.

Prior to that bout, which marked Franklin’s UK debut, he was unbeaten as a professional.

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