Anthony Joshua is changing coaches for Oleksandr Usyk’s rematch, according to US coach Ronnie Shields.
AJ is currently in America following his loss to the Ukrainian last month and has been spotted at various gyms during his trip.
By the end of the fight against Usyk, many questioned his tactical approach as he tried to outbox the smaller technical genius, rather than using his advantages in size and strength.
Questions were also posed to its training team – led by Rob McCracken – and there was much speculation about the potential changes thereafter.
Last week, AJ posted Snapchats showing he was visiting his mentee Joshua Buatsi at Virgil Hunter’s gym in Hayward, Calif.
Then, this weekend, a video emerged showing Joshua hanging out with Canelo Alvarez at Eddy Reynoso’s gym in San Diego, California.
Now he has been pictured working with Texas-based coach Shields, who has given an interview and confirmed that AJ is doing it because he is looking for a new coach.
“They were the ones who contacted me,” Shields told ThaBoxingVoice.
“They contacted me and asked if I would be interested in taking a look at AJ and he would like to come to Texas and see if things could work out between him and me.
“I said, ‘Yeah, no problem, I’d love to watch it, I’d love to see if we can get along.’
“It would be great to have him recover his world titles which he lost to Usyk and I think I have the capacity to help him do that.
“The last two days everything seemed to be going well. The first day was just a conversation, we talked for about three or four hours.
“And when he came back today, I told him I just wanted to do a little pad work with him just to show him everything we talked about.”
Shields continued, “We watched a few rounds of the Usyk fight together and I just pointed out some things that I thought he should have done that he didn’t do.
“We had a great conversation yesterday, today was even bigger. There’s something I showed him that he said, ‘Dude, I’ve never been taught to do that.’
“It surprises me that a guy who was the heavyweight world champion doesn’t know certain things.
“As he said, ‘European boxing is different from boxing in the United States.’ He realized he had to come to the United States to get something different.
Reflecting on the fight against Usyk, he added, “Obviously that wasn’t the right game plan, I told him he didn’t fight like him. I think he’s a much better fighter than he showed in this Usyk fight.
“I watched a few laps with him, I talked to him about some things and he said, ‘Yeah man, this is what we should have done, but we didn’t.’
“I don’t know what their game plan was, but obviously it wasn’t the right one and I guess he didn’t feel like it was the right one, which is why he wanted make a change. “
When asked how they were going to approach a rematch with Usyk together, Shields disclosed, “I’ll tell you the first thing he said to me when he came here.
“He said to me, ‘Look, I know people don’t think I’m a dog, I’m just a pure boxer. Look, I’ll be a dog in this next fight. And these are his words.
“He said to me, ‘I’m going to be a dog in this fight, I just need you to show me how to be the best dog you can teach me to be. “
Regarding AJ’s head coach McCracken, Shields said Joshua has explained that he will only be looking to take one of his current coaches with him to move forward – Angel Fernandez.
“I told him about another guy who came with him,” Shields said.
“He explained to me that he really wanted this guy there, I told him that was okay with me.
“Angel. He told me he wanted Angel to be with him and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s okay.'”