Anthony Joshua beats Jermaine Franklin but fails to KO rival in comeback fight

Joshua was impressive behind his jab and delivered several eye-catching uppercuts, but he was unable to score a knockout.

Tensions erupted at the final whistle when Joshua and Franklin's teams got involved in an ugly fight.

Joshua was fighting for the first time since dropping his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk last year, and a victory was critical to getting his heavyweight career back on track. 

Victory for 'AJ' would also pave the way for fights with Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, as well as breathe fresh life into a world championship challenge.

At the final bell, the fight devolved into chaos, with animosity between both teams, but Joshua emerged triumphant with scores of 118-111, 117-111, and 117-111 in his favor.

The 12th round appeared to conclude eight seconds early at the O2 Arena, resulting in an odd finish.

Lorenzo Adams, the strength and conditioning instructor of the United States boxer who pushed the Finchley fighter, reacted angrily when Joshua pushed his head into Franklin.

Speaking to DAZN Joshua said, "I try and provide for the fans. I know who they want. They said Tyson Fury, the ball is in his court. I would be honoured to fight for the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World.

"If he’s listening, he knows my promoter, we’ve had dialogue before, so lets continue this. We ain’t getting any younger.

"Last time I grabbed the mic, it was a bit chaotic. I’m calm, I appreciate everyone coming out this evening.

"Inside the ring, it is a different energy so I apologise to those watching. I respect Jermaine, Eddie [Hearn], thank you for this opportunity. Fans, thank you as well. It was important to win.

"Jermaine has a good duck and dive style, somebody else from Britain will probably knock him out; respect to him, he did well.

"I should have knocked him out but it is done. On to the next. He is here to prove himself, not roll over. I wish I could have knocked him out."

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