Former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 22-1 (21) reportedly sought out a new trainer after his shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr 33-1 (22) last month.
Strength and conditioning coach Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia, who works with trainer Ismael Salas in Las Vegas, says they were approached by Joshua to train him for his rematch with Ruiz Jr but location logistics put the kybosh on the move.
Joshua, who lost his IBF, WBA and WBO titles to Ruiz Jr at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 1, has insisted that he will be staying with long-time trainer Rob McCracken.
But in an interview with Hustle Boss TV, Heredia contradicts this.
“I’mma drop a bomb today. Me and Salas, we were very close to seal a training camp with – we got approached by Joshua,” Heredia said.
“But Salas felt that Joshua needed to come to the United States to train here, not for us to go to London so I respected that.
“Joshua I always think is a good fighter, I love Ruiz as well, I’ve worked with Ruiz for two camps.
“He reached out to Salas and Salas reached out to me because he said, ‘I would work with you, only if you get Angel Heredia for the conditioning part’.
“We worked before, we had a camp me and Salas with Joe Joyce, a successful camp in Kazakhstan so he loves how I do conditioning for the kids and that was one of his conditions.
“The other condition was for Joshua to come into the United States and do camp in Vegas, not for us to go to London.
“Salas is already established in Vegas, Salas is not going nowhere else, he’s staying here for good…
“It would have been good. But Joshua, I think he wanted to stay in England, he wanted us to go out there but it is what it is.”
Renowned Cuban trainer Salas has worked with the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jorge Linares in recent times but is perhaps best known to British fight fans for his work with David Haye ahead of his rematch with Tony Bellew last year. Salas currently works with former WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara.
Heredia claimed promoter Eddie Hearn approved the change of trainer.
“He was very supportive about it, he thought it was a good idea, a lot of the people who were behind these negotiations were excited about it,” he said.
“A lot of people thought that he needed a change, not only on the corner, but he also needed a different strength and conditioning trainer.
“Joshua is very athletic, but in my opinion he does a lot of exercises that do not let him be quicker than he is supposed to be.
“But Ismael decided not to go and obviously one day they decided to stay with the same coach.”