Former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has been spotted working with Mike Tyson’s ex-trainer as the Briton attempts to bounce back from his shock defeat by Oleksandr Usyk last month.
Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles to the Ukrainian in suffering the second loss of his career.
Usyk – now a two-division champion – dethroned the Brit in front of 65,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as the former undisputed cruiserweight champion comfortably outclassed Joshua.
The scorecards – which read 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 – were all in favour of the challenger, and Joshua met the news of his defeat with a resigned shrug of his shoulders.
It appeared Joshua would remain loyal to his coach Rob McCracken despite his ill-advised game plan for the clash with the Ukrainian – but footage has surfaced of Joshua working with Ronnie Shields.
Shields has coached Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Arturo Gatti in the past, and is currently working with Jermall Charlo.
“They reached out to me and they asked if I would be interested in taking a look at AJ and that he wanted to come down to Texas and see if things would work out between him and I,” Shields told Tha Boxing Voice.
“I said, 'No problem, I would love to see if we had a connection together’.”
Nothing official is confirmed and Joshua may yet retain the services of McCracken alongside the American, but Shields revealed the meeting with the 2012 Olympic champion went well.
Do you think Anthony Joshua will win his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk? Let us know in the comments section.
Footage showed Joshua in the gym chatting to Shields as well as working out with a mask on, while the pair ran through pad work as the coach showed off his methods.
Shields believes Joshua has the talent to bounce back against Usyk.
“It would be great to get him to reclaim the world titles he lost to Usyk and I think I’ve got the capabilities to help him to do that,” Shields added.
“For the last two days everything seemed to go well. The first day we talked for about three or four hours and when he came back today we did some light pad work to show him everything we talked about.
‘You have to be able to show a fighter what you really mean and how he should do things. We did some light work and I put him through some drills to help him understand what I'd told him the day before.
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‘’For me it's about the game plan. We talked about a lot of stuff and we watched a few rounds of the Usyk fight together. I pointed out a few things that he should have done but he didn't do.
“I think our chemistry was really good but I'm not going to lose sleep over [whether he chooses me].”
Joshua will meet Usyk in a rematch currently scheduled to take place early next year, while British rival Tyson Fury’s own plans have been scuppered.
The WBC had ordered Fury to fight the winner between mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte and Otto Wallin, who were set to meet at the O2 Arena on October 30.
However, an injury to Whyte has forced the fight to be postponed.
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