Anthony Joshua talks possible trainer switch!
There’s an old saying: “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. That’s a dangerous mentality to have especially when things start to consistently not go your way. That’s also a sign of contentment. Being content, especially in boxing, is a way towards major disaster. Point in case, former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22KOs) has found himself in a peculiar situation, not from being content, but from being comfortable.
His most recent setback against Oleksandr Usyk on September 25, which saw him surrender his three heavyweight titles for the second time in his career, has ignited the need for possible change. In doing so, the former champion was recently in America working with different trainers trying to see how the chemistry was before embarking on a professional relationship. He met with Ronnie Shields, Virgil Hunter, Robert Garcia and Eddy Reynoso. While a decision wasn’t made, with about five months to go before he and Usyk run it back, a decision will have to be made very soon.
TIME TO MIX IT UP
Speaking to iFL TV Joshua told them the following behind his thinking of possibly switching trainers.
“I just looked at myself and said I just need to get out of this comfort zone. You know, we bring in international sparring partners. I have good tough sparring, but teachings, cause when I spar them, I’m only getting information from Rob. So, if he tells me box this way, box that way, I’ll do it cause that’s his way of teaching.
I said, ‘Rob, look, I got to go out there and I’ve got to find a new coach to work with and learn from as well. You know, I’m not basing myself in the states. I’m a UK resident, I’m not living out in the states. So, to find a new coach must mean I train 11 months, 10 months out of the year. So, for me, I’m not going out to the states to live and find a new coach. I might go out there. I’m probably going to shoot out there again and do some training. Rob’s in Lithuania or something like that or Siberia, like so I’ve got to find other ways to keep myself busy. That’s why I work with Angel, that’s why I work with Joby because I looked at it and I needed to create an environment where I can continue progressing as a fighter and learning new teachings.
Joby’s got a great philosophy, the loose and heavy 70’s style rhythm and flow, back foot balance. Angel’s got the great reaction, repetition training and angles punching off the line. Rob’s got the experience to get me ready for a 12-round fight. So, I looked at how I could create a team, but still have Rob as the Alex Ferguson the gaffer. In all honesty, they’re still trying to make that relationship work. So, what I want to do is step away and let these guys sort out whatever they need to sort out, and I need to go and get some new teachings.”
VERSATILITY IS KEY
While it sounds like help is on the way, it doesn’t seem to mean that long-time Joshua trainer Rob McCracken may be getting the boot. AJ stressed his desire to get teachings from other boxing minds, which is the reason for his visit to America. It seems he’s looking to put together a well-rounded team of different boxing minds to get him back in prime position.
Regardless of his next move, it needs to be his best move. Another setback could spell doom for a man looking to reclaim his titles and his spot as one of the two top heavyweights in the sport.
It’ll be interesting to see who he selects as his next trainer or co-trainer to help prepare him for the Oleksandr Usyk rematch in 2022.
By: Jerrell Fletcher