Ronnie Shields: “I Told Anthony Joshua He Is Too Comfortable In The UK”

Ronnie Shields Says Other Obligations Barred him from Training AJ

Ronnie Shields offers advice to Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua (L, Credit: Getty Images), Ronnie Shields

Trainer Ronnie Shields Details his Talks with Anthony Joshua

After suffering the second defeat of his career to Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13KOs) last September, two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-2, 22KOs) decided it was time for a change. With that in mind, he started searching for a new trainer.

During his search, he spent a lot of time in America working out with different trainers. In particular, he worked out with Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso, Robert Garcia, and Ronnie Shields. In the end, he would end up selecting Robert Garcia as the new head man in his corner. One of the trainers in contention, Ronnie Shields, broke his silence on why he wasn’t selected as Joshua’s new trainer as well as advice he gave the former champion.

Speaking to Tha Boxing Voice, he said logistics was the ultimate obstacle for training AJ:

“Well actually, I told him! He asked me about other trainers and I told him he should look at Robert Garcia also. Because, when they asked me to come to Europe and train him there, I said, ‘I can’t do it’. I just had too many guys with important fights coming up, and Jermall was one of them, and I can’t be in two places at one time. So, that’s the only reason it didn’t work out.”

Shields also says he pushed Joshua to get out of his comfort zone.

“That was one of the first things we talked about before I did anything with him. […] I told him, ‘man, you’re too comfortable over there. You need to get to a place where you don’t know anybody – you’re a stranger to things, and that’s going to really help you concentrate on your fight.'”

With Joshua electing to staff Garcia as his trainer and train in the UK, where he’s most comfortable, we’ll see if his decision proves to be the winning one after the conclusion of his rematch with Usyk.

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By: Jerrell Fletcher

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