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believes he was chosen over to face because he won their fight ‘in the world’s eyes’. Franklin fell to a razor-close majority decision loss against the Body Snatcher back in November that was fiercely debated amongst fans.

The American is confident he should have been given the nod on fight night and scored the contest 7-5 in his favour. Meanwhile, the CompuBox stats show that Franklin outlanded Whyte in eight of the 12 rounds.

Prior to the contest, had promised the winner a shot at Joshua in the Spring but much to the surprise of many Franklin was given the opportunity instead. No reason was provided for the change of plans, but the 989 Assassin claims it is because he was the rightful winner.

Speaking exclusively to Express Sport, he said: “He lost, CompuBox said he lost, they can give him the fight, but English fans don’t think he won the fight. I know what boxing is, it’s a dirty game but he can give me my rematch and I’ll whoop him again.

“I think they chose me because I won that in the world’s eyes. I think I honestly won the fight 7-5. CompuBox said 8-4 but we’re not going to cry about it we come back bigger and stronger.”

Despite the frustrations he felt following the result, Franklin quickly bounced back, thanks in part to the support he received from British fans. “That day I was really messed up on that s*** but after that day I started looking at things differently and was just ready to get back to it and continue to perfect my craft,” he added.

“So, it didn’t affect me as much as I thought it would, I was just ready to get back in there. It didn’t feel like a loss. The British fans were writing to me on Instagram, I had hundreds and hundreds of messages showing me love and support. So, that made me feel a little better in terms of the decision and how everything went.”

Joshua and Franklin square off on April 1 at London’s O2 Arena live on DAZN. The undercard includes another cross-atlantic heavyweight encounter in the co-feature attraction as Britain’s Fabio Wardley takes on America’s Michael Polite-Coffie.

Meanwhile, Felix Cash challenges Matteo Signani for the European middleweight title as fierce rival Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams faces River Wilson-Bent.