Whilst not formally announced, it’s widely expected that the man in Anthony Joshua’s corner for his next fight will be Derrick James.
The Texan trainer calls the shots for both Errol Spence Jr and Jermell Charlo, and has been mentioned as Trainer of the Year by various publications on more than one occasion.
Joshua graced James’ World Class Boxing Gym in Dallas in late 2022, and it’s rumoured that he’ll soon announce its owner as his head coach.
In an interview with FightHype, James praised ‘AJ’s work ethic on his visits.
“Yes he does [fit in.] He doesn’t want to stop. I really was [impressed.] It was dope to see. Most big guys are not so… they’re kind of lazy or whatever. But I saw the way we’d work. He’s a student.”
“Any fighter that has a new trainer, it’s all about manoeuvring and getting meshed to where you really know what he’s doing before you go into some big fights.”
Asked what he might add to the former unified heavyweight champion’s armoury, James was clear and simple.
“Bring those winning ways back. That’s the most important part about it.”
When asked about a Wilder fight next, James shook his head. Should they announce a partnership, he’ll recommend one or two fights before something of that level.
Joshua’s return is expected at London’s O2 Arena on April 1, with names rumoured being a mix of tests and tune ups. It’s understood that his new trainer is having their say in the final decision, and both announcements will likely come at the same time.
If 2023 is to as big a year as promised for ‘AJ’ many fans will be excited by the idea of a tactician of James’ stature coming along for the ride.