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Shields vs Habazin: Jermaine Franklin to face Pavel Sour on undercard

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The Michigan heavyweight will take another crack at impressing a Showtime audience.

Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

Jermaine Franklin has hyped himself as the best American prospect in the heavyweight division, but his first two outings on Showtime this year have frankly left a good bit to be desired, as he didn’t exactly thrill in his win over Rydell Booker in April, and there was plenty to question in his split decision win over Jerry Forrest in July.

But the 25-year-old from Saginaw, Michigan, will get another chance to show his stuff on Oct. 5, when he features on the Claressa Shields-Ivana Habazin card from Flint, once again live on Showtime.

“This is what I have been waiting for,” said Franklin. “I can’t wait to put a show on in front of my hometown with friends and family in the crowd.”

Franklin (19-0, 13 KO) has been criticized a bit for having something of a “soft” body, standing 6’2” and weighing 240-245 for his last two fights, which was up a notable amount from his fights before this year. He says that’s been a focus.

“I’ve been working on my diet and taking better care of my body since my last fight,” he said. “I’m focused on not wasting any punches and letting the knockout come naturally, not pushing for it. I’m going to be better conditioned and more patient and finally prove to fans why I’m America’s next great heavyweight.”

This time out, he’ll be facing 36-year-old Czech club fighter Pavel Sour, who will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time. In his only fight outside of the Czech Republic, he was flattened in the first round by Filip Hrgovic in Oct. 2017, a fight that took place in Germany. Hrgovic is a legitimate top heavyweight prospect, and Franklin will want to do something similar.

“I have the technique, speed and power to beat Jermaine Franklin,” said Sour. “I am in great shape, I’m training hard and I’m very confident heading into this fight. Franklin is underestimating me because of my age, but I’m going to show him he’s wrong and have my hand raised when the final bell rings.”

Sour (11-1, 6 KO) last fight came on April 6, when he successfully defended the Czech heavyweight title against the much younger and previously unbeaten Tomas Salek.

The Showtime card on Oct. 5 will have extremely stiff competition for eyeballs, as it’s going up against the DAZN card featuring Gennadiy Golovkin vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the main event.