JERMAINE FRANKLIN has urged Anthony Joshua to “give fans what they want” and sign on the dotted line.
The American is the front-runner to be the man opposite the former two-time unified heavyweight champion in his crucial April comeback fight.
GETTYAnthony Joshua is on course to return to the ring in April[/caption]
Several names are in the running to face AJ in his crunch return boutGETTY
GETTYAmerican Jermaine Franklin has publicly laid down the gauntlet to AJ[/caption]
SunSport understands talks are progressing well but a deal has not yet been reached, which has prompted Franklin to take to social media to try get the fight over the line.
Along with a twinned picture of himself and AJ, the 29-year-old tweeted: “I’m ready.
“Time to give the fans what they want.
“Two great boxers who want to put the fans’ interest first, USA vs UK.”
An official offer has yet to be tabled to Franklin, although that hasn’t dampened his excitement at potentially facing the golden boy of British boxing.
Promoter Dmirty Salita told Sky Sports: “Yes, Jermaine is excited about the opportunity to once again show the British boxing fans that he is the best American heavyweight in the world.
“As you saw in the [Dillian] Whyte fight, Jermaine is not intimidated by a big name even if it’s thousands of miles away from home.
“His mindset is to be the heavyweight champion of the world. Beat Joshua, beat Whyte in the rematch and fight the winner of Fury vs Usyk.”
Franklin suffered a controversial points defeat to Brixton Body Snatcher Whyte last November.
Joshua, meanwhile, endured a second successive decision defeat to pound-for-pound king Oleksandr Usyk last August.
Defeat to the Ukrainian has put AJ on the periphery of the world title picture, so much so he can ill-afford another loss.
Promoter Eddie Hearn recently admitted: “You go into that fight in April and you know that defeat, it’s all over, really.
“It would be a third back-to-back defeat and yet a great performance and a showroom knockout will get everyone saying, ‘We’re back, baby.’
“That’s what I can’t wait for because I love it when our backs are against the wall.
“I’m excited. I’m really excited. This is the most excited I’ve been in Joshua’s journey so far.”