Barry McGuigan has had his say on Anthony Joshua’s return to the heavyweight ranks following two losses to unified champion, Oleksandr Usyk
The superstar British heavyweight is once again in a search for a new trainer before a year of action that will hopefully see him back to the top of the division.
Promoter Eddie Hearn recently laid out a comeback plan that culminates in a fight with fellow fallen champion, Deontay Wilder – however McGuigan wrote in his Mirror column that he believes it would be moving too fast too soon.
“Anthony Joshua won’t be short of opponents as he contemplates becoming a world champion for the third time. If he is to achieve that lofty goal they have to be the right ones in the right order.
One opponent I would avoid is Deontay Wilder. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn gave Wilder a mention this week but he is nobody’s fool. That is too big a step to take at this stage. Rather than take on a big target, Joshua needs to fight more frequently in 2023 and against lesser gods.”
The fighter turned manager then laid out what he thought ‘AJ’ must do before facing off with the likes of Wilder, who some consider to be one of the hardest hitters the sport has ever seen.
“The most immediate issue is finding the right trainer. Whoever that is he needs to go back to basics and build him back psychologically.”
“Joshua must learn how to put punches together whilst moving his head. That needs to be ingrained. I’m not sure he has ever learned that skill.
It takes time to develop that but it can be taught. He has to be prepared to listen and his trainer must have the ability to teach with authority. There are not many around who command that respect.”
Whilst Wilder’s team angle for a fight with Joshua, we expect an announcement soon as to the fights going forward. If Hearn’s initial plan is stuck to, he’s expected out in April against a top 15 name.