Anthony Joshua has made it clear exactly why he returned to fight Jermaine Franklin – that big pay check.

The Englishman takes on Franklin on April 1 at London’s O2 in his return from boxing for the first time since losing the WBA, IBF, and WBO world titles.

The heavyweight was asked about his motivation for returning to the sport after his loss to Oleksandr Usyk.

AJ replied: “Money, money, money, I like making money. Straight up.

“I do this because I am good at it and I hustle hard and — when it is all said and done — no-one will care about me anymore.”

He certainly wasn’t trying to sugarcoat that one.

The 33-year-old has definitely been making his money in recent years after joining streaming service DAZN as part of a $175 million (£100m) broadcasting deal.

Joshua explained that when it comes to boxing – it’s all about that cash.

He continued: “This is a prize-fighting sport.

“I have been broke and my family has been broke and I know what that s*** means.

“So I need to make the most of it while I am here.”

Fans were split on what to think of AJ’s newfound honesty, with some actually appreciating the frankness of his response.

One wrote: “Love this new AJ attitude. He’s finally realised no one gives a toss about him, outside his family and close friends.”

Another said: “I respect the honesty.”

A third tweeted: “Boxing’s always about money, there’s nothing wrong w/ that mentality, as it’s a short career + a very hard one at that.”

Meanwhile, unsurprisingly plenty were quick to point out the change in AJ’s attitude.

One fan tweeted: “It started as “legacy” and now it’s money, which leaves me to wonder why he’s not bothered about legacy anymore.”

A second replied: “I thought it was belts, undisputed, and legacy?”

A third quipped: “Been in America 3 months and he’s tryna give it the Floyd image.”

Despite a cashed-up motivation, AJ claims he’s never taken a camp more seriously.

He continued: “Locked in. It’s a serious opponent, I respect all my opponents.

“He’s coming to fight. That will make me keep my feet on the ground.

“Throughout my career this is probably the most seriously I’ve taken it.

“Everything I’ve been through, positive, negative I’m using it to fuel this camp.”