Home Boxing News Anthony Joshua remains focused on himself while the heavyweight circus continues

Anthony Joshua remains focused on himself while the heavyweight circus continues

Anthony Joshua gets words of advice from Derrick James

Former two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 25-3 (22) has a dream.

But the 33-year-old Englishman, who held the WBA, WBO and IBF titles across two reigns, knows that dreams rarely come true.

Joshua is scheduled to face Dillian Whyte 29-3 (19) in a rematch at the O2 Arena in London on August 12 before a likely bout against former WBC champion Deontay Wilder 43-2-1 (42) in Saudi Arabia in December.

In an ideal world – and a victory in both bouts – this would lead to a world title shot against current WBC titleholder Tyson Fury 33-0-1 (24), who announced this week he will face former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou 0-0 in a non-title fight in Saudi Arabia on October 28.

Joshua and Fury have long been linked to an all-British showdown, including this year, but the sides have always failed to reach an agreement that would see them finally share a ring.

Joshua sounds resigned to the fact that a Fury bout is unlikely to ever happen.

“I’m not disappointed. That’s just the reality that we live in. That’s the reality,” Joshua told Sky Sports.

“Unfortunately it didn’t happen, but I’m not disappointed because we know why. People are starting to see. This is just how boxing goes sometimes. People are just…it’s just a shame. But it is what it is, none of my business. If that was me, I would have gone in there and fought, but it’s not me so I can’t really comment on another man’s decisions.”

Still, Joshua holds out a faint glimmer of hope that a dream run of wins over Whyte, Wilder and Fury can still take place.

“Yeah, it would be [a dream scenario to beat Whyte, Wilder and then Fury]. But dreams are fake. This is reality,” Joshua said.

After back-to-back decision losses to former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 20-0 (13), Joshua hired a new coach in Texan Derrick James for his last fight against fringe contender Jermaine Franklin 21-2 (14), a bout he won on points.

Joshua is full of praise for James and his methods in the gym.

“[You have to] just make sure you’re ready to work when you come to the gym,” Joshua said. “Like he knows what his standards are. He’s called his gym World Class Boxing Gym. What a name! He’s got a standard and it’s challenging.

“He’s a serious guy. Very serious guy. I did what I had to do, but earlier there was a period where I was trying different coaches and ended up fighting a good fighter in Usyk during that trial and error phase, but everything is for a reason in this universe, so I’ve got to trust my process.”

Joshua was less positive about his experience with former coach Robert Garcia, who trained him for his rematch against southpaw Usyk, who he felt really didn’t teach him anything.

“I recall when I was training for Usyk and I had Robert Garcia on board,” Joshau said to talkSPORT. “The fight date kept getting pushed back and the general conversation in the Usyk camp was ‘we need this fight to happen soon, because we don’t want AJ to spend as much time as possible with Robert Garcia’.

“In my mind I was like [shrugs], I didn’t feel like I was being taught anything, so I didn’t think it mattered if I spent a year [with him], I was still going to do my thing anyway.

“With Derrick James, I soak up every second that I’m in that gym with him. Whether I am successful or not, Derrick James is the truth. As his own individual person, Derrick James is the truth, the time spent with him is very, very valuable.”