Anthony Joshua came under criticism for his performance against Jermaine Franklin back in April, when he boxed his way to an uninspiring decision victory.
Many questioned Joshua’s mentality following the fight at the 02 Arena, with the words ‘tentative’ and ‘gunshy’ appearing frequently in analyses.
However, Roy Jones Jr attributed Joshua’s subpar showing to the Brit ‘clearly’ not immediately gelling with new trainer Derrick James.
Speaking to Boxing News, Jones said:
“Why would anybody come off one of the worst performances they’ve had in a long time, then go and fight Tyson Fury?
You’ve got to get comfortable with your team first. It was his first time with a new trainer, and they clearly didn’t have it together yet.
Y’all are going to get it together – but you ain’t got it together yet!
He hasn’t got comfortable with his trainer yet, obviously. So let him get comfortable with his trainer.”
Joshua has been working with James in Dallas since the start of this year, having parted ways with previous trainer Robert Garcia after just one fight.
’AJ’s backers will hope he and James start to bond sooner rather than later, with successive bouts against Dillian Whyte and Deontay Wilder in the second half of 2023 looking like a real possibility.
Skills Challenge Entertainment have made no secret of their plans to stage a December blockbuster between Joshua and Wilder in Saudi Arabia, potentially on the same card as an undisputed fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk.
However, those plans could completely capitulate if Joshua comes unstuck in his interim outing in August, for which old foe Whyte looks to be a clear frontrunner.