Former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is aware he’ll need to make some changes if he’s to beat Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch, and has recently been on a gym tour throughout the United States, checking in with a number of notable Stateside camps as he seeks to improve his craft.
Joshua meeting with a number of trainers, including Ronnie Shields, led most to believe Joshua has gone as far as he can go under the guidance of his longtime trainer Rob McCracken, but Joshua tells iFL TV that he’s looking more for a camp addition rather than a subtraction (unless McCracken isn’t willing to work in that manner). So when asked if McCracken could still be his lead trainer going forward, Joshua replied:
“Yeah, and (McCracken) has to speak to the people I may want to work with and see if he can work with them. I had the same conversation with Rob, ‘I want to work with you, but I also want to work with this guy for six months’. Rob might tell me, ‘You know what champ, this ain’t working for me. For the next six months, you do your thing and come and see me after.’”
Joshua says he has a mature relationship with McCracken which allows them to be open and honest with one another, but that he ultimately has to make a decision that’s in his own best interest as his health is on the line in this profession.
The former unified champion continued by saying that it’s important from him to absorb knowledge from trainers who’ve been at the elite level of the sport for many years — including the like Robert Garcia, Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso, Ronnie Shields, etc.
“Listen, I don’t need anyone that’s going to make me,” said Joshua. “I got myself to the championship. This is my 12th championship fight. I just need to keep on learning.”
But whatever fit Joshua might find going forward, he reaffirms that he still plans to base his training camp out of the U.K. and won’t be making wholesale changes to move his camp to this side of the Atlantic. That could potentially be a conflict for some of the biggest trainers Stateside who have other fighters they need to be available for, but it doesn’t appear that any formal decision on how Joshua will tailor his approach for the Usyk rematch.