Anthony Joshua continues to weigh up his options having visited prolific coach Robert Garcia with the former heavyweight champion still searching for a new trainer.
The 32-year-old lost his WBO, WBA and IBF titles in a one-sided unanimous decision defeat to Ukrainian wizard Oleksandr Usyk, whose majestic movement kept a usually fierce Joshua at bay.
Promoter Eddie Hearn – who openly admitted Joshua got his tactics wrong in trying to outbox Usyk, rather than utilise his evident physical advantages – has confirmed they have activated the contractually-agreed rematch clause and will attempt to regain the belts early next year.
Joshua was typically humble in defeat but has since embarked on a tour of America, with the future of long-term trainer Rob McCracken – who guided the Brit to a gold medal at the 2012 London games – largely unclear.
Garcia, a former super-featherweight champion and now highly accomplished trainer, is the fourth potential coach Joshua has spent time with in recent weeks.
Anthony Joshua visited Robert Garcia in America as his search for a new trainer continues
Questions of McCraken’s ability as a coach were also raised after Joshua’s shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, in what was his first and only outing in America.
Joshua then stuck by his ever-loyal companion, however, with the pair formulating a winning game plan as the Brit became a two-time unified heavyweight champion with a brilliant boxing display in Saudi Arabia.
He is yet to personally comment on the potential desire for a new coach, or in fact whether McCraken will remain in his camp, but the recent images certainly suggest a change is imminent.
Garcia, the latest trainer to receive a visit from AJ, recently suffered an upset of his own, as younger brother Mikey was defeated by Sandor Martin over the weekend in one of the shocks of the year.
The blemish doesn’t detract from an otherwise superb record for the trainer, who has developed a reputation as one of the game’s best having coached the likes of Nonito Donaire, Kelly Pavlik and Marcos Maidana.
Garcia faces a wealth of competition, with Joshua also visiting notorious trainers Ronnie Shields, Virgil Hunter and Eddie Reynoso during his time Stateside.
The future of Joshua’s long-term trainer Rob McCracken (left) remains entirely unclear
Joshua has been at the gyms of three trainers including Eddie Reynoso (L) and Virgil Hunter (R)
Ronnie Shields went through footage of the Usyk fight with Joshua and offered him advice
The most enlightening of Joshua’s visits has been with Shields, who currently trains middleweight star Jermall Charlo and had a brief stint guiding Mike Tyson.
The 63-year-old subsequently revealed he was contacted by by Joshua’s team, indicating the former champion is looking for a change in style as he approaches the rematch.
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 figh”. 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.
‘He says he has it in him, if things work out and I’m training him and once it comes down to it, now in the gym is the time to show it and in the fight you’ve got to show it too.
‘It’s going to be hard work, we sat down and talked about everything and I think everything went great.’
Joshua was filmed talking to Shields, Mike Tyson’s former coach, during their training session
Joshua was comprehensively outboxed by former cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk
Alongside Shields, Joshua has also held discussions with Hunter, who notoriously guided American Andre Ward to the elite of the sport, before the two-weight world champion retired undefeated.
Hunter is now training Joshua Buatsi, who Joshua manages, and has also worked with fellow Brit Amir Khan in the past.
Another intriguing meeting was held between Joshua and Reynoso, the trainer of pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez.
Joshua visited his prestigious gym in America, perhaps even more intriguing as Reynoso also currently guides Ruiz Jr, who is still on the comeback trail following his defeat to the Brit.