Anthony Joshua’s new trainer is Derrick James, according to Spencer Oliver. Joshua (24-0, 22KOs) will announce the news. It could happen next week.
James, among other things, trains Frank Martin Jr., Errol Spence Jr., and JermellCharlo. Joshua will face Demsey McKean on April 1st at the O2 Arena, London. That’s a confidence buster for Joshua to regain his mojo before facing Dillian Whyte in a rematch in July.
Whether Joshua can improve his game enough under James’ watch to become a three-time heavyweight champion is the big question.
Joshua’s best chance of capturing a title is when the four titles are vacated by the winner of the Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk undisputed championship. The winner will likely vacate the title and not defend it against mandatory WBA Daniel Dubois or mandatory Filip Hrgovic from IBF.
“Joshua, I think they’re going to announce it very, very soon, but Derrick James looks like his new trainer. He’s over in the States,” said Spencer Oliver to talkSPORT Boxing about Anthony Joshua’s expected new trainer.
“Derrick James is a former fighter himself. He was a great fighter and now works alongside Errol Spence. This guy is a well-known and respected trainer. With Anthony Joshua, as we’ve seen over the last few months, this guy has been struggling psychologically.
“He needs to restore that confidence back. It’s not the physical side that needs to be sorted because he’s got that there. He’s got all the attributes needed to be world heavyweight champion.
“He’s explosive, he’s big, he can wack, but if you’re psychologically not right, you’ve got problems because that is the main part of the game,” said Oliver about Joshua.
“He has all the attributes, but he ain’t going to beat Usyk, and he ain’t going to beat Fury,” said Simon Jordan about Joshua. “He ain’t going to be world champion unless the belts get splintered.”
“There was a missing part of the jigsaw for Anthony Joshua, and that was a trainer,” said Oliver. “He can’t settle with a trainer, and until you get that, you’re not going to get your head right.
“That’s what’s been missing. Let’s hope that he’s found that now and that puts him in the mix. It’s great for heavyweight boxing, and it’s great for boxing as a whole if Anthony Joshua can come back win or lose and get back in the mix. That’s what we want to see.
“Yes, he has,” said Oliver when asked if Joshua has an opponent. “I’m hearing it’s April 1st in London, possibly the O2, and it’s Demsey McKean, who is an Australian heavyweight, former MMA fighter, 22-0, tall, southpaw, a little big straight back and likes to have a go.
“It’s maybe a perfect confidence-builder for Anthony Joshua because that’s what he needs right now, to be fair. I think you can allow him that one, but then we got to get him back in the mix,” said Oliver.
“I’d prefer to see him in with someone like Otto Wallin,” said Jordan about Joshua. “I think there’s more in that fight. He’s got a better name, is more established, and if he knocks him out, there’s more confidence all around. The background noise from the media will be, ‘Oh, a live one here,’ and the background noise for him is, ‘I just knocked out Otto Wallin.’ Fury had trouble with him.”