Anthony Joshua is keen to meet the ‘high standards’ of his new coach, Derrick James, when he makes his ring return on April 1.
After 25 fights, Joshua had unified three of the four heavyweight world titles, as well as won them back in a rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr to become two-time champ. He did all of this with UK coach, Rob McCracken, by his side.
It was his first loss to Oleksandr Usyk that made him change trainers, and he landed on Robert Garcia – a California-based coach who has trained the likes of Marcos Maidana, Nonito Donaire, Mikey Garcia, and Bam Rodriguez.
The partnership was only to last as far as the second loss to Usyk, though, with ‘AJ’ quickly touring the States again after. This time he’s found Derrick James, a former trainer of the year who currently corners world champions Errol Spence Jr and Jermell Charlo.
The pair will face their first test in Jermaine Franklin, and Joshua told the DAZN his main priority is impressing James.
“I am looking forward to stepping back into the ring on April 1st at The O2 London. Mentally and physically i feel ready.
“I want to put on a show and impress my coach as he has high standards. Franklin has a good style & great attitude, which he has shown in recent fights.
This will be my first fight broadcast on DAZN in the UK and will be globally available on the platform. I want to thank DAZN for supporting both myself and the sport of boxing as a whole. I would also like to thank the team at 258 and Matchroom Boxing.”
The man in the other corner, though, will be doing his best to stop that happening.
Franklin is best known to UK fans for his decision loss to Dillian Whyte back in November of 2022. His performance was better than many expected, and he’s back in the UK for another big fight as a result.
“I’m ready to show the world why it’s time for me to take my place at the top of the Heavyweight division. Joshua had his time. It’s my time to shock the world! This fight isn’t going to the judge’s card. I will have win number 22 come April 1. That ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”