Two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua seems to have made the decision to appoint a third trainer in three fights as he sets his sight on a return to the ring around the end of March.
Joshua suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in his career, as an amateur or professional, as he lost to the well-respected Oleksandr Usyk, which has caused ‘AJ’ to travel to the United States in search of a new trainer for the second time in twelve months.
The Brit had been under the guidance of Rob McCracken since turning professional in 2013, but left McCracken after suffering a second career defeat, as he lost to Usyk in 2021.
Joshua then had a tour of the United States, as he visited all of the top trainers, including the likes of Eddie Reynoso, Ronnie Shields and Virgil Hunter, before deciding that Mexican trainer Robert Garcia was the man to prepare him to defeat Usyk.
Garcia has trained the likes of Vergil Ortiz, Mikey Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Nonito Donaire and one of the breakthrough stars of 2022 in Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, but despite an improved performance, was unsuccessful in his efforts to help Joshua, as the Brit lost once again.
Now it appears that Joshua is looking to switch once more. He posted a video to his snapchat shadow boxing next to the American flag and boxing journalist, Michael Benson, has also reported that Joshua was in Virgil Hunter’s gym.
Hunter is a widely respected coach who has trained many world champions including Andre Ward and Britain’s Amir Khan
Anthony Joshua is now once again out in the USA learning from different trainers ahead of his 2023 return. AJ trained in Virgil Hunter's gym yesterday. Hunter was one of the coaches he visited last year before deciding to work with Robert Garcia for the Oleksandr Usyk rematch.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) December 5, 2022
In a recent interview with Sporting News, Joshua explained that he wants the freedom to be able to absorb as much knowledge as possible from each of the top trainers, rather than becoming too attached to Garcia or any other trainer.
“I respect him [Robert Garcia] a lot. He’s a really good man, really good trainer. Will I work with him again? Yeah, I would, but what I’ve said to Robert and the team as well is that I want to be a free spirit. You know, I locked myself down for 11 years with one coach, and now I just feel like I just want to learn as much as possible.”
With Joshua and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, targeting a return in March/April, it appears that Joshua will only have three or four months’ worth of training under whichever trainer he elects for the fight. An opponent is yet to be confirmed, but Joshua maintains that he has plenty of options.