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Anthony Joshua changing trainer for Oleksandr Usyk rematch, confirms US coach Ronnie Shields who has been working with AJ for past two days

Anthony Joshua is changing trainers for his rematch with Oleksandr, according to US coach Ronnie Shields.

AJ is currently spending time in America following his loss to the Ukrainian last month and has been spotted in various gyms during his trip.

AJ has been training with Ronnie Shields (who trains WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo) this week

AJ has been training with Ronnie Shields (who trains WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo) this week

At the end of the Usyk fight, many were left questioning his tactical approach as he attempted to outbox the smaller technical genius, rather than use his size and strength advantages.

Questions have also been asked of his training team – led by Rob McCracken – and speculation has subsequently been rife about potential changes.

Last week, AJ posted Snapchats showing himself visiting his mentee Joshua Buatsi in Virgil Hunter’s gym in Hayward, California.

Then, at the weekend, a video emerged showing Joshua hanging out with Canelo Alvarez in Eddy Reynoso’s gym in San Diego, California.

AJ was also in Reynoso and Hunter’s gyms

AJ was also in Reynoso and Hunter’s gyms

Now, he has been pictured working with Texas-based trainer Shields, who has given an interview and confirmed AJ was doing so because he is looking for a new coach.

“It was them who reached out to me,” Shields told ThaBoxingVoice.

“They reached out to me and they asked me would I be interested in taking a look at AJ and he would like to come down to Texas and see if things could work out between him and I.

“I said, ‘Yeah, no problem, I would love to take a look at him, love to see if we can mesh together.’

Brief snippets have emerged of Joshua working with Shields

Brief snippets have emerged of Joshua working with Shields

“It would be great to get him to reclaim his world titles that he lost to Usyk and I think I’ve got the capabilities to help him to do that.

“In the last two days, everything seemed to go well. The first day was just all talk, we talked for about three or four hours.

“And when he came back today I told him I wanted to do just some light padwork 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’ve done that he didn’t do.

“We had a great talk yesterday, today was even greater. There’s something I showed him that he said, ‘Man, I was never taught to do this.’

Joshua was well beaten by Usyk, but is going to face him again in a rematch

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Joshua was well beaten by Usyk, but is going to face him again in a rematch

“It surprises me that a guy who was heavyweight champion of the world don’t know certain things.

“Like he said, ‘European boxing is different from boxing in the United States.’ He realised that he had to come to the United States to get something different.”

Reflecting on the Usyk fight, he added: “Obviously it wasn’t the right game plan, I told him he didn’t fight like himself. I think he’s a much better fighter than what he showed in that Usyk fight.

“I watched a few rounds with him, I told him about certain things and he said, ‘Yeah man, that’s what we should’ve done, but we didn’t do it.’

“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 so this is why he wanted to make a change.”

McCracken has guided AJ to Olympic gold and professional world titles, but it appears their partnership is ending

Dave Thompson/Matchroom

McCracken has guided AJ to Olympic gold and professional world titles, but it appears their partnership is ending

When asked about how they would approach a rematch with Usyk together, Shields divulged: “I’m going to tell you the first thing he told me when he came here.

“He told me, ‘Listen, I know people don’t think I’m a dog, I’m just a pure boxer. Look, I’m gonna be a dog in this next fight.’ And that’s his words.

“He told me, ‘I’m gonna be a dog in this fight, I just need you to show me how to be the best dog that you can teach me to be.”

Regarding AJ’s head trainer McCracken, Shields said Joshua explained he would only be looking to take one of his current coaches with him moving forwards – Angel Fernandez.

“I spoke to him about some other guy that came with him,” Shields said.

“He explained to me that he really wants this guy there, I told him it’s no problem with me.

“Angel. He told me he wanted Angel to be with him and I told him, ‘Yeah, it’s no problem.’”




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