Joshua receives fresh training offer after ‘free spirit’ comment

Emotional Anthony Joshua explains erratic behaviour after defeat

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Anthony Joshua has received a new training offer from renowned British coach Shane McGuigan. The 33-year-old has an excellent stable of fighters including WBA (regular) heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois, WBO cruiserweight world champion Lawrence Okolie, and European 200lb titlist Chris Billam-Smith.

Prior to this, he coached massive names such as Carl Frampton, George Groves, and David Haye. Given his proven track record with larger boxers and ability to revive careers – as seen when guiding Groves to becoming a world champion at the fourth time of asking – McGuigan appears to be a good fit for the Watford powerhouse who is currently exploring his options.

Joshua axed long-time mentor Rob McCracken ahead of his second fight with Oleksandr Usyk and recruited the services of 2012 Ring Magazine trainer of the year Robert Garcia. Under Garcia, AJ showed marked improvements from the inaugural encounter, but a recent interview suggests he may be looking elsewhere. Speaking to Sporting News, Joshua revealed that he wants to be a ‘free spirit’ after being ‘tied down’ by one trainer for 11 years (McCracken).

“So, in terms of Robert Garcia, thank you for asking,” he said. “I respect him a lot. He’s a really good man, really good trainer. Will I work with him again? Yeah, I would, but what I’ve said to Robert and the team as well is that I want to be a free spirit. You know, I locked myself down for 11 years with one coach, and now I just feel like I just want to learn as much as possible.”

Roy Jones Jr recently disclosed that he has had conversations with Joshua about potentially training him while Garcia came out last week to affirm that he hasn’t been in contact with Joshua ‘for quite some time’.

With all the speculation surrounding Joshua’s next move, McGuigan was asked whether he would train Joshua if approached. Speaking to Seconds Out, he said: “It’s Anthony Joshua, of course, I would fancy it. 


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“Athletic guy, he’s got things to learn, and he needs to get the belief back in himself. Genuine belief back in himself, a couple of good victories and then roll the dice again.”

He added: “I believe I could get a lot of good work in with AJ. I think as long as he gets back to believing what the right approach is for him then he’ll get back to doing great things again.”

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