Joshua’s bout against Franklin at the O2 Arena will be his first since 2015 in which no world championship is at stake. But after establishing a base in Dallas over the winter and working with new trainer Derrick James to help him get back to his best, he thinks he has reached a new level.
“I got to a certain level but I plateaued there and I now realise that if I want to achieve again, I’ve got to go to another level,” said Joshua after weighing in at a career-high 18st 3lbs (116 kg) on Friday.
“I’ve just found out that what I thought was good enough, wasn’t and sacrifice is not a bad thing because throughout this struggle I’ve had to take myself through I’ve actually found potentially better than what I had before.”
Joshua has made sacrifices that go as far as avoiding his family, including his son, 7, since returning to the UK two weeks ago.
“I haven’t seen them yet. I feel, no matter how much training you’ve done in camp, you could potentially let your opponent catch up by slipping in the last week or so,” Joshua added.
“I’ve kept it disciplined up until now and I will until fight night.
“Being further away has been better, being home is harder.”