By: Sean Crose
Former heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua is on the hunt for a trainer. There’s nothing unique about his quest, of course. Fighters, often quite successful fighters, change trainers all the time – often to excellent results. Sugar Hill Steward for instance, turned Joshua’s countryman Tyson Fury into a wrecking machine. The same could be said for Abel Sanchez, who transformed Gennady Golovkin from an obscure European fighter into a middleweight terror. Indeed, there are endless examples of new trainers coming along and elevating the skills and careers of excellent fighters. The success rate, however, is far from one hundred percent.
Floyd Mayweather Sr had achieved legendary levels of success training his son, Floyd Mayweather Jr. He wasn’t able to keep former foe Ricky Hatton from getting knocked out in highlight reel fashion by Manny Pacquiao, however. The simple truth is that a trainer can only do so much. Ultimately it depends on the fighter. After losing two fights soundly to Oleksandr Usyk, it’s worth wondering if another trainer – it would be his third since the first loss to Usyk in 2021 – would sharpen and direct Joshua to once again sit atop the heavyweight heap.
While there’s no doubt Joshua is a terrific fighter it’s difficult at this point to see the Londoner ever being able to top the walking skill set that is Usyk. It’s not just Usyk who is problematic for Joshua, however. It’s also difficult at the moment to picture the man besting Tyson Fury, or surviving the crunching power of Deontay Wilder. Joshua’s abilities are considerable, but are they enough for the man to stand victorious after all the dust has settled around the current crop of top heavies? It all begs the question: Is Joshua just not talented enough to excel in the super talented contemporary heavyweight scene?
The truth is that no one really knows. While a new trainer doesn’t guarantee success, it clearly doesn’t guarantee failure, either. Perhaps the man would be better off staying with esteemed ring general Robert Garcia, who he worked with for the second Usyk fight. A great partnership doesn’t often happen overnight, after all. Or perhaps Joshua will find someone more to his liking. Ultimately, he’s going to want to find a trainer who can help him win against the best competition in the business – provided he has an honest chance of performing at that high a level.