LONDON. — Anthony Joshua has met with several American-based boxing trainers as he considers a shake-up to his coaching set-up following his defeat by Oleksandr Usyk.
The British heavyweight boxer has faced calls to part ways with long-time coach Rob McCracken since losing his WBA (Super), WBO and IBF titles to Usyk last month.
Joshua has met Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso and Ronnie Shields in the United States.
And Joshua has told potential new trainer Shields to bring out the dog in him against Usyk.
The 32-year-old Watford ace has left under-fire mentor McCracken to go on a tour of some of America’s best gyms following the punishing September loss of his heavyweight world titles.
And the 2012 Olympic golden boy spent a couple of days studying the unanimous points loss with Mike Tyson’s former trainer, before doing some padwork with the 63-year-old.
And respected veteran Shields, who is currently guiding WBC middleweight champ Jermall Charlo, claims Joshua wants to tap into his inner beast to avenge his last toothless performance.
Shields told The Boxing Voice: “The first thing he told me when he came here, he told me, ‘listen, I know people don’t think that 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’.
“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.
“I guess he didn’t feel it was the right (gameplan against Usyk) so he wanted to make a change,” said Shields. — BBC Sport