Remember that Joshua had twice lost to Oleksandr Usyk of the Ukraine, which left the possibility of huge fights with Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, or Joe Joyce open.
Fans were baffled, though, when Joshua revealed on social media that it would be another eight months before he competed again, just one week after defeating Franklin.
“Not ideal, but everything is part of a bigger picture,” Joshua wrote on Instagram.
“I thought as I have changed maybe three coaches in three years, it would be good to develop and work under the guidance of my new coach and by the time I am back in the ring, I have cemented and implemented everything he wants,” the British boxer told Sky Sports.
“But the only way we are going to put everything he is teaching me to the test is through fighting.
“So rather than putting pressure on myself, and I don’t want to lie to the fans at the time, I am fighting this date when there is still conversations, I just wanted to draw a line in the sand and say I am not fighting until this date.
“If I, my coach, decide to change my mind… I feel I am able to change my mind, right? So I am able to fight in July or August if I want, but right now, it is off the table, but we are subject to chance providing my coach is happy with what he sees.”