Jermaine Franklin has gained more profile from his back-to-back defeats than during his rise as an undefeated prospect.

Of course, it’s time to get back into the win column.

Defeats to Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua in consecutive trips to the UK has left Franklin without a win over an opponent with a winning record in nearly four years. Still, the American heavyweight saw his stock rise in his narrow defeat to Whyte last November in an outing many felt could have gone the other way. The lopsided loss to Joshua was less controversial but also showed Franklin’s mettle in going all twelve with the former two-time unified titlist.

“I feel like I paid my dues and learned some stuff. I went back to the drawing board and now I’m ready to create some damage. We are coming for all the big fights. We’re gonna stay at the top. Soon I am going to be a top five Heavyweight, we ain’t gonna be a top 15 heavyweight.”

Franklin hopes to accomplish just that in his scheduled ten-round clash versus Mexico’s Isaac Munoz (17-0-1, 14KOs), a late replacement for Junior Wright who dropped out of the bout earlier this month. The two meet in a scheduled ten-round heavyweight contest this Saturday on DAZN from Masonic Temple in Detroit, less than a two-hour drive for the ‘989 Assassin’ from Saginaw, Michigan.

Franklin (21-2, 14KOs) has fought throughout the midwestern US but only three previous times in his home state.

Saturday will mark his first in Michigan since October 2019, the last time he beat an opponent with more wins than losses when he outpointed Pavel Sour (11-1, 6KOs) at the time) over ten rounds. A rust-shaking fifth-round knockout of Rodney Moore last May marked Franklin’s lone fight since the pandemic prior to being tabbed to face England’s Whyte (29-3, 19KOs) last November 26 at OVO Arena Wembley.

Franklin was considered unlucky to leave with a majority decision defeat, though his performance was credible enough to where Matchroom Boxing brought him back to test Joshua (25-3, 22KOs), who’d lost two straight to Oleksandr Usyk before he outpointed Franklin over twelve rounds in a relatively dull affair.

There is no shame in either defeat, each from which Franklin applied to this past training camp.

“One thing I learned was part of the mental game; every fight is not the same,” noted Franklin. Sometimes as fighters we have a lot of built-up aggression, any little thing can set us off. Those fights with Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, I remember getting into it a bit with the referees, taking my focus off what I should be dialed into.

“So that’s been my focus now, staying concentrated on what is important, and letting nothing get in the way, just tunnel vision.”

Franklin-Munoz serves in supporting capacity to the Alycia Baumgardner-Christina Linardatou rematch. Detroit’s Baumgardner (14-1, 7KOs) defends her undisputed junior lightweight championship versus the only fighter to defeat her in Linardatou (14-2, 6KOs), a 35-year-old Dominican who lives in Athens, Greece.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox