Saturday, May 18, 2024  |



Jermaine Franklin gives himself a “B” grade for win over Pavel Sour

Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin (left) vs. Pavel Sour. Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Fighters Network

Some of us fightwriter types were a bit surprised when we heard the plug might get pulled on that Flint, Michigan card topped by Claressa Shields, portions of which were to run on Showtime last Saturday.

We know this…The show, even if modified, must go on.

And so it did,  and that’s why Jaron “Boots” Ennis did his thing Saturday night, and heavyweight Jermaine Franklin did his thing, against Pavel Sour (11-2, 6 knockouts), on a ShoBox special, which went on without Shields, after her weigh-in was marred by an attack on her foe’s trainer.

What grade did Franklin give himself on the Saturday effort?

“About a B,” said the 20-0 (13 KOs) Franklin.  “I worked hard during training camp and I was very happy to see the results of my hard work. I still have a lot of improvements to make.”

Was the weigh-in incident a tough distraction for him, though?

“It wasn’t really a distraction. It was sad that it happened and my prayers goes out to James Bashir and his family.”

What has he learned from the two fights prior to this…and how did that impact prep for this fight, those wins over Rydell Booker and Jerry Forrest?

“I had to get myself into a good mental state. I have to stop being so hard on myself when things don’t go according to plan in the ring. The last two fights I was very hard on myself and it came out in my performance. So for the Sour fight I was focused on having fun and putting on a good show!”

Where is he, in his mind, now? Top 25? 20? Higher?

“I’m in the top 20 in my mind,” said the fighter, who is promoted by Dmitriy Salita. “There are a lot of guys out there that are only in the top 20 because of their name and reputation but their skills level is average.”

What does Franklin want next?

“I want a top 20 opponent and continue to be the best I can be,” he stated.

Steve Farhood was ringside – what was his take on the up ‘n coming heavyweight? “Franklin dominated against a much slower opponent,” Farhood said. “It was an improvement over his two previous fights on Showtime. He appeared to be in better shape, and that made a big difference. He’s still a work in progress who hasn’t wowed anybody yet. But he’s still young, especially by heavyweight standards, so there’s hope for the future.

And I reached out to Salita; what was his assessment on the effort by JF on Saturday?

“I definitely see improvement in his over-all boxing abilities,” said the promoter. “Most importantly I liked the way he utilized his jab and combination punching. He is 25 years old and already 20-0 against a very solid level of competition.  He has loads of untapped potential that I know will see more and more of with each fight.”

Has he learned some tough lessons in the last year, I wondered…

“He fought very solid fighters in his national television outings,” the deal-maker shared. “He had to grow and mature as a fighter in front of a national audience. We saw that he graduated to the next level, his weight was down (245, to 240 to 231 in last three efforts), conditioning up and over-all he showed very solid improvements. The goal is to keep him busy with progressive level of competition.”