Heavyweight prospect Jermaine Franklin will get some much-needed exposure when he boxes on the 13th April, Salita Promotions show at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The 17-0 heavyweight prospect has remained fairly low key as far as the media is concerned so far. At 25 years old, Franklin has time on his side but feels that now is the time to make his name on the bigger stage.
In November 2018, Franklin signed a promotional contract with former Super-lightweight contender Dimitry Salita's company in the hope that they could take his career to a higher level. As Salita Promotions takes care of 2 time Olympian Claressa Sheilds as well as heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller, they have a great platform to do just that.
Franklin's bout with Rydell Booker is the 10 round co-feature on Sheilds's unification bout with Christina Hammer and will be shown live on Showtime USA.
Promoters are always trying to keep their prospects winning and impressing the fans. This is not an easy task, ask any matchmaker, but, when that prospect gets their first chance of national TV exposure, the level of opposition needs to be seen as a genuine step up in class.
Rydell Booker's only loss was to James "Lights Out" Toney who KO'd the great Evander Holyfield as a heavyweight. With 25 wins and only the Toney loss, plus a top-level amateur career behind him, Booker would certainly be an acceptable opponent at this stage, but, stats don't always tell the full story.
After Booker's loss to Toney in 2004, he was sentenced to 12 to 30 years on a drugs charge and only made his comeback in February 2018. Two more wins followed in 6 rounders against poor opposition.
As a 38-year-old heavyweight, Booker certainly isn't too old, but the time away from boxing will not have made him a better fighter than when he lost to Toney in 2004.
As Franklin is from Saginaw, Michigan and Booker from Detroit, it will be a local derby, with, I am sure some sort of bragging rights, but I wish we were seeing the 6ft 2In prospect against a better grade of opponent.