We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Ticket prices for Anthony Joshua’s comeback fight against Jermaine Franklin have been slashed to avoid potential embarrassment for AJ on the night. There are still a “couple of thousand” tickets up for grabs as Eddie Hearn attempts to sell out the 14,000 capacity at the O2 Arena in London, a venue where the two-time heavyweight world champion has plenty of history.
Joshua made his debut at the O2 way back in October 2013 against Emanuele Leo and has since boxed at the arena a further six times – the latest of which was against Dominic Breazeale in 2016 when he successfully defended his red IBF strap.
AJ also secured a statement victory over British rival Dillian Whyte in Greenwich in December 2015 before later moving onto big stadium fights at Wembley and the Principality in Cardiff.
But to mark his unfortunate fall from grace following back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua is now facing the prospect of returning to the ring in front of a non sell-out crowd when he goes to war with Franklin at the start of April.
Much has been made at the number of tickets still up for grabs on The O2’s website, so much so, that prices have now taken a tumble in a bid to entice fans into purchasing.
There are still a vast range of tickets up for grabs priced from £95 to £117 and for the higher price, you can get great seats with an impressive view of the ring.
This is unprecedented territory for Joshua since he won his first world title in 2016 as it’s now becoming clear he is no longer the pull he once was following three defeats at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr and Usyk (twice).
Hearn recently admitted that AJ’s stock has somewhat naturally fallen before backing his man to launch a bid to become a three-time world heavyweight champion.
The Matchroom chief said in an interview with ESBR Boxing: “He’s coming off two defeats, so of course you’re not going to be the same size commercially as you were when you beat Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000.
“But he’s a great fighter, he’s one of the best heavyweights in the world. I feel like he can still be the best heavyweight in the world.
“And it’s difficult times as well, yeah we’ve sold 14,000 tickets at the O2, we’ve got a couple of thousand left – which will all go.
“The fighters get their tickets this week as well, so there’s not going to be many left.
“But he needs to make a statement and he needs to get people excited about Anthony Joshua again.
“We all love him, the country loves him, but do they believe in him as a top heavyweight, April 1 we will see.”
The fight will be Joshua’s first under new coach Derrick James, who is looking to carry out a “back to basics” approach to get AJ firing again.
Franklin will be no walkover though having recently pushed Whyte all the way during their November slugfest, a bout many thought the American won despite losing by majority decision.
The 989 Assassin has won 21 of his 22 bouts and could prove to be a banana skin for Joshua, who is eyeing a mega-fight with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury in the second half of 2023.
Source: Read Full Article