Audley Harrison has analysed the current state of Anthony Joshua, stating that he doesn’t believe the two-time world champion’s current setup is the finished article.
Harrison was the first ever British boxer to win Gold in the Olympic’s Super Heavyweight division – an honour Joshua would go onto claim in 2012.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Harrison said that he believes ‘AJ’ has the time to reach the top once again.
“I think he’s definitely young enough. My philosophy in life is always set backs pave the way for comebacks. You’re gonna have setbacks – lose the fight don’t lose the lesson.”
He referred to Joshua’s current situation as a ‘mess’, highlighting the transitional period of his training setup in an attempt to settle into a style.
Joshua split with longterm coach, Rob McCracken, after his first loss to Oleksandr Usyk. A stint with Robert Garcia lasted for the rematch before he linked up with Texan trainer, Derrick James – but Harrison doesn’t think he’s the man for the job.
“There’s a lesson to be learnt in his mess right now, as you can call it. The Rob McCracken situation – he lost to Ruiz, he fixed that, came back, got the win. Then he lost again, so now he’s trying to find the right trainer.
He tried Garcia, he’s with Derrick James right now. We can see that turbulence of him trying to figure it out. He hasn’t figured it out right now. It’s not complete. I think Derrick James is probably not going to be the final result.”
Finally, Harrison spoke on what style he’d like to see his countryman adopt in the ring should he want to climb to championship heights again.
“For me, my style of Joshua is like a Holyfield in his prime. You’ve got that bounce, you’re throwing combinations, you can ride the shots better. He’s a little stationary right now, and, as you saw with Usyk once he started backing him up and putting him in that corner he couldn’t figure it out.
You need somebody who can unlock all that, unpack all that, so that Joshua can be the guy where he’s going forward a bit more aggressive, like he was with Dillian Whyte, but you’re not walking onto shots. That’s what he needs, and I don’t think he’s gonna get that from Derrick James.”
Joshua is currently in talks to face Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia this December, with his team keen on an August fight in between to help him settle more with James and prepare for the division’s biggest puncher.