Ronnie Shields: “Anthony Joshua Told Me He’ll Be A Dog In His Next Fight”

Anthony Joshua In the Hunt For a New Trainer

Former champion Anthony Joshua at the Ronnie Shields training Gym in Texas
Anthony Joshua at the Ronnie Shields training Gym in Texas

Anthony Joshua In the Hunt For a New Trainer Following His Loss to Oleksandr Usyk

It’s been nearly a month since Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) was defeated by Oleksandr Usyk, losing the unified IBF/WBA “super”/WBO world heavyweight titles in the process. In the aftermath, fight fans and boxing pundits have debated what went wrong for AJ and the reasons behind his loss.

Much of the blame centers around his inner circle. More than a few now believe that it’s time for Joshua to replace his trainer, Robert McCracken, and hire someone new. Though there’s been no official announcement from the former champ, has he decided that now is the time to make a change? If optics mean anything, maybe Joshua is moving on.


He’s currently traveling in the States and has been spotted in various gyms stateside. Joshua visited Virgil Hunter’s gym in Hayward, California, and Eddie Reynoso’s facility in San Diego, California. He also visited Ronnie Shields’ gym in Texas. Rumors are swirling in fight circles a change is imminent and that his training camp for the rematch with Usyk will be in the United States.

Shields was a guest on the Tha Boxing Voice YouTube show and explained that Joshua’s representatives were the ones who reached out to him. They talked about AJ coming to Texas to give the former champ a look. On October 18 and 19, Joshua worked out with Shields’ gym.

A criticism of Joshua’s performance against Usyk was a failure to impose his physical size and will. He was hesitant and didn’t let his power punches flow. It follows consistent critique from Joshua’s detractors that he lacks a mean streak.

Shields said that he and Joshua watched footage of the Usyk fight together and, Joshua understands what’s folks are saying about him.


“He told me, ‘Listen, I know people don’t think that I’m a dog. Look, I’m going to be a dog in this next fight.’ And that’s his words. He told me, ‘I’m going to be a dog in this fight. I just need you to show me how to be the best dog that you can teach me to be’.”

It’s pretty evident that Joshua is on the recruitment trail for a new trainer, and Ronnie Shields is in the running. Maybe he is the infusion the former champion needs at this point in his career. Whether it’s a different trainer or a different mindset, something new is needed to defeat Usyk in a rematch.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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Michael is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a writer/contributor for