There’s no question that Anthony Joshua’s new coach, Derrick James, feels he’s a better fit for the fighter than previous cornermen.
‘AJ’ has linked up with the Texan trainer after two consecutive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk in which and he lost and then failed to win back his unified heavyweight titles.
The Brit was guided by longtime trainer, Rob McCracken, for the first fight, but switched things up following a shutout victory for the Ukrainian. He landed on Robert Garcia for his corner in the rematch, but, despite an improved performance, Usyk came out on top once more.
In the aftermath, Garcia made some comments to the media that seemed better suited to a private discussion with his fighter. The pair split amicably, and ‘AJ’ returned to America in search of another new coach.
He landed on James, the man who’s currently helming the careers of world champions, Errol Spence Jr and Jermell Charlo. When asked by The DAZN Boxing Show about the second Usyk fight, the trainer admitted that the tactics made him laugh.
“When I saw him in the Usyk fight, I was thinking ‘man what the heck is he doing?’ We laughed about it. I told him, I’m laughing.”
The things that you work on is some things you can’t see initially. The initial thing you work on is something that’s not even physical … Something really small, it just builds from there. When you work on that thing in particular, everything else is gonna bloom and blossom behind that. That’s what it’s all about.”
This confidence from James will suit Joshua well, as many fans believe that may be something that’s been lacking in his armoury of late.
The pair’s work together will first be showcased against American heavyweight, Jermaine Franklin, on April 1 at London’s O2 Arena. Franklin lost a close fight to Dillian Whyte last year and is, by his own words, coming for the knockout this time around.
With the goal of three fights this year and world championship glory again in the future, ‘AJ’ will be hoping for a statement performance to impress both fans and the new man in his corner.