Trainer Ronnie Shields has confirmed that former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua came to him in the U.S at his gym on Tuesday and he’s looking for a new trainer.
It would be interesting to know how Joshua will react when he finds out that Shields has blabbed the information about his meeting with him to the media.
Did Joshua tell Shields to keep the information he told him on the down-low? If you’re Joshua, you probably aren’t too happy hearing Shields reveal to the media that he’s looking for a new trainer.
Shields reportedly asked if he’d be working with Joshua’s normal trainer Rob McCracken, and he was told that he would only be working with Angel Fernandez.
Replacing McCracken shows how desperate Joshua is to win his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, as he resisted firing his longtime coach after his knockout loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. two years ago.
For Joshua to be firing McCracken now, it suggests that there’s some real worry on his part about his rematch with Usyk, and more importantly about his career as a whole.
If Joshua were to lose to Usyk a second time, he will have lost 3 out of his last 5 fights. Not good. It might not matter who Joshua signs as his new coach because they’re not going to be able to improve his stamina or his chin. He’s stuck with those flaws.
Joshua has been working out with Shields this week to see if the two “mesh” together. Before meeting with Shields, Joshua had talked to well-known coaches Eddy Reynoso and Virgil Hunter at their gyms.
AJ wants to become a “dog” to toughen up for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, who defeated him last month by a 12 round unanimous decision on September 25th at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, England.
Joshua attempted to outbox Usyk, and he failed miserably and wound up on the losing end. It’s unknown if it was Joshua or McCracken’s idea to try and outbox the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).
The impression that many boxing fans have is that it was Joshua that came up with the idea of trying to beat Usyk at his own game by trying to outdo him in a technical match.
“He told me, ‘Listen, I know people don’t think I’m a dog. I’m going to be a dog in this next fight.‘ And that’s his words. He told me, ‘I just need you to show me how to be the best dog you can teach me to be,” said Shields to Thaboxingvoice on Joshua.
“He said, ‘European boxing is different from boxing in the U.S.’ He realized he had to come to the U.S to get something different. I guess he didn’t feel it was the right [strategy for the Usyk fight], so he wanted to make a change,” said Shields about Joshua.
You could see that Joshua was trying to use his size during the second half of the fight with Usyk, but he didn’t have the speed, gas tank, or skills to get the job done.
The area where Joshua could have imposed his size was when he was in the clinches with Usyk.
He wasn’t leaning on Usyk with all his weight the way the 277-lb Tyson Fury recently did in his trilogy match with Deontay Wilder on October 9th.
Joshua also wasn’t fighting on the inside and throwing uppercuts and clubbing shots the way he could have if he wanted to be a “dog.” Shields isn’t going to be able to change Joshua from being a non-emotional boxer/puncher into a seek & destroy “dog” looking to massacre his opponents. You’re born with that. It’s not something a trainer can instill in you.