Anthony Joshua had a private chat Mike Tyson’s former trainer about a new game plan. The former champion is in the US looking at potential new coaches after losing to Oleksandr Usyk last month.
Anthony Joshua has let slip a private plan with Mike Tyson’s ex-trainer. The former heavyweight champion asked Ronnie Shields to bring out the “dog” in him ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
The 31-year-old has been in the United States visiting different coaches as he prepares to fight the Ukranian for a second time next year. He spent time with Shields, who was in the corner of the “Baddest man on the planet”, as well as Evander Holyfield.
Now the 63-year-old revealed the 2012 Olympic champion has sought advice on how to bring out his aggressive side as he aims to win his titles back. “He told me, ‘Listen, I know people don’t think I’m a dog. I’m gonna be a dog in this next fight.’ And that’s his words,” Shields said to the Tha Boxing Voice podcast.
“He told me, ‘I just need you to show me how to be the best dog you can teach me to be.’ “That answered the question for me because my thing to him was, ‘Why did you box the whole time?’, and he said he thought he could out-box him, and that was the game plan.
“To me that was the wrong fight, now he knows that was the wrong fight. To teach a man to be a dog he has to have the dog instincts in him already.” Rob McCracken has been Joshua’s coach throughout his career, but after suffering the second loss of his career, the athlete may be prepared to go in a different direction.
After realising he perhaps opted for the wrong game plan against Usyk and needs a different approach, Shields said he would be very interested in working with AJ. “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 said.
“I said, ‘No problem, I would love to see if we had a connection together’. He said, ‘European boxing is different from boxing in the US.’ He realised he had to come to the US to get something different. “I guess he didn’t feel it was the right [game plan vs Usyk] so he wanted to make a change.” Joshua suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Ukrainian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last month, losing on points by unanimous decision
AJ was unable to cope with Usyk’s sharp speed and movement and the former cruiserweight made it very difficult for the Brit to land his killer right hand. He came into the contest as the much bigger man, carrying an advantage of more than a stone in weight and three inches in height, but unfortunately for Joshua, he was unable to use it to his advantage.
The win was massive for Usyk, who extended his unbeaten record to 19-0. Joshua’s defeat now puts a blockbuster fight with Tyson Fury, who defeated Deontay Wilder earlier this month, on the backburner.