Anthony Joshua has promised his potential new coach Ronnie Shields that he will be a “dog” in his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk. Joshua is currently touring the US in search of a new coach following his decision loss to Usyk last month.
The Brit visited Texas to spend time with Shields, who currently trains Jermall Charlo and has formerly trained Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Arturo Gatti. Joshua also touched down in California to visit Virgil Hunter and Eddie Reynoso’s gyms as the heavyweight weighs up his options.
And Shields revealed the first thing Joshua told him when he entered his gym. He told Thaboxingvoice: “Im’a 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 that I’m this and that, I’m just a pure boxer.’
“He said ‘look, I’m gonna be a dog in this next fight. I just need you to show me how to be the best dog that you can teach me to be.’ “That answered the question for me. My thing to him was, why did you box the whole time? He said he felt like he could outbox him. Obviously that was the gameplan, to outbox him.
“To me that was the wrong fight, now he knows it was the wrong fight. I like to teach a man to be a dog, but he has to have the dog instincts in him already. He says he has it in him. “If things work out and I’m training him, then once it comes down to it. Now in the ring and in the gym is the time to prove it and show it and in the fight you have to show it too.”
Joshua has not formally announced whether he will part ways with Rob McCracken for his rematch with Usyk. Shields revealed Joshua does intend to keep coach Angel Fernandez in his team.
The veteran boxing trainer thinks Joshua does have the skills to beat domestic rival Tyson Fury, but for now his focus is solely on Usyk. He continued: “Absolutely [he can beat Fury]. He’s a lot bigger than I thought he was. He’s not fat, he’s trimmed up pretty good. Man, does he have the stature.
“Anybody that can punch, that knows how to put punches together has a chance against a guy like Tyson Fury. “Again, him and I never talked about Tyson Fury. His whole thing was Usyk. He knows in order to get to Tyson Fury he gotta get it back against Usyk first. So that’s the number one part of it.”