Anthony Joshua has dismissed Tyson Fury’s offer to train him for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, despite hailing his rival’s boxing knowledge.
Joshua will meet Usyk this summer as he seeks to steal back his unified crown in Saudi Arabia. ‘AJ’ recently drafted in American trainer Robert Garcia to replace long-term coach Rob McCracken for the second instalment of his rivalry with Usyk.
Fury had offered to train Joshua in the past alongside his father John in Morecambe when news broke of his rival’s plans to shake up his corner. The ‘Gypsy King’ recently doubled down on his plan, telling Queensberry Promotions : ‘Without trying to slate AJ or anything, because he has done well, he has had a great career, he doesn’t have the engine to box for twelve rounds.
“So unless he comes to Morecambe and lets me train him for this fight, I see another loss, to be fair. If not, he gets another loss on his record. Robert Garcia and ten men like him will not make him beat Usyk.”
Joshua has now responded, saying: “I respect it, he is not a trainer though. But he is a knowledgable man when it comes to boxing.” It is highly unlikely that Joshua would ever consider training with his bitter rival, particularly as he plans to finally pursue a fight with him if he can beat Usyk.
The British pair have previously trained together back in 2010 where Joshua was said to have got the better of Fury in an infamous sparring session. Joshua was two years away from his eventual Olympic glory, and the pair have since gone on to become two of the world’s leading heavyweights.
If Joshua is to get his revenge against Usyk this summer it is widely accepted he must alter his conservative tactical approach. Long-term trainer Rob McCracken was in Joshua’s corner for the defeat but has since parted ways with the heavyweight after widespread criticism.
Instead Joshua now has a two-man team of Angel Fernandez and Garcia to steer him to becoming three-time heavyweight champion. McCracken was seen giving Joshua advice telling him to continue trying to outbox Usyk right up until the final bell despite the wide margin of defeat.
And the 31-year-old believes there were too many mixed messages in his corner during the loss. “There was a lot going on in the corner and that didn’t help,” Joshua said. “A corner is like a pitstop. You’ve got probably 55 seconds in total to calm down, hydrate, simple instructions. Too many voices at once is definitely not good for anybody, not just me. It wasn’t like ‘take the fight to this f***** , listen you’re losing the fight’, no.
“Throughout the fight I thought I was winning but at that stage [by the 12th round] I kind of knew it was close. It didn’t seem like there was any real communication as to where I’m at.”