Anthony Joshua doesn’t think he should be faulted for defeating Jermaine Franklin via points rather than stoppage.

On Saturday night, in London’s O2 Arena, Joshua handily outpointed Michigan’s Franklin over 12 rounds. Scores were 118-11, 117-111, 117-111 for the Brit.

Public opinion appeared to be divided on the merit of Joshua’s latest win, with some saying the win was a solid comeback from a fighter whose last two contests were losses to unified champion Oleksandr Usyk and who was under the stewardship of new trainer Derrick James.

Others were more lukewarm in their assessment, as they expected something of a statement performance (read: knockout) from Joshua, especially given that Franklin, on paper, was not exactly a world beater.

During the post-fight press conference, Joshua batted away criticism about his inability to finish his opponent inside the distance. Joshua, who has a tendency to gas out late in his fights, suggested that his ability to stay composed without “blowing a gasket” versus Franklin was evidence of his veteran savvy. To that end, Joshua brought up a historical precedent to justify his strategy: Mike Tyson, who, as Joshua put it, had his fair share of decision wins in his career.

“The old AJ, for example, we can look back at times, like [the 2017 title fight against Wladimir] Klitschko,” Joshua said. “We went in for the kill in round 5 and the only reason he managed to survive to the 11th was because I gassed. I blew a gasket in the ring. So then we fast forward to the [Kubrat] Pulev fight (in 2020), where I was so close to taking him out I probably threw 200 punches in the round trying to take the guy out and he survived. So I thought I gotta get back to my boxing, be clever here.

"Experience is the best teacher. You will see so many fighters after me come up and go through that process of throwing everything, throwing the kitchen sink at some fighters that aren’t ready [to be knocked out]. Their will is sky high that they just don’t want to give up. You will soon see some of these younger fighters go through the same process and they’ll soon figure out that, 'I gotta get smarter in the ring.'

“It’s a fight, don’t get me wrong. It’s a sport where you take people out, but I’ll be honest with you, Mike Tyson went 12 rounds with people like Pinklon Thomas and I think it was Tony Tubbs. (Note: Both Thomas and Tubbs were stopped by Tyson inside the distance). What’s wrong with me going 12 rounds, you know what I mean?”