Eddie Hearn details Anthony Joshua’s big risk ahead of Oleksandr Usyk rematch

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Anthony Joshua is taking a huge risk by changing his training team ahead of the rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

Promoter Eddie Hearn believes it is a gamble worth taking for the British star to shuffle his coaching team ahead of the return for the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

Joshua, 32, is currently training in Dubai but has yet to make a decision on who will take charge of his corner for the clash which is likely to take place in April at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Long-time trainer Rob McCracken looks set to be axed, although Hearn remained coy on that decision after Joshua's second career defeat by Usyk back in September.

Joshua has held talks with Canelo's coach Eddy Reynoso, Mike Tyson's former trainer Ronnie Shields, Robert Garcia and Virgil Hunter among others.

He said: “These conversations have been with Rob and AJ.

“AJ made it clear when he said I will be working with a new trainer, will that be in conjunction with Rob? I think that's to be announced in the coming weeks.

“With AJ he doesn't stop thinking, he's been on it non-stop and he's been quite obsessed with the process.

“It is a huge risk but if you feel like you need a change and you can't go on in a specific way any more, the alternative is much more risky.

“If AJ didn't make any changes and wasn't comfortable with his approach going into the rematch, I feel like we shouldn't be taking that rematch.

“But the fact he's been so proactive and positive and whatever route he goes down, I know he'll be comfortable with that decision.

“I'm a lot more at ease than with the flip side, which is leave it. He needs something fresh, he's excited. The key thing for him in this fight is being mentally comfortable with his preparation.”

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But there have been questions over the uncertainty around Joshua’s camp. It is almost four months since he was clinically outboxed by Usyk at Spurs.

Yet he hasn’t started work full-time with a new trainer, which will be a significant change in his set up that also includes Joby Clayton and Angel Fernandez.

“Getting over the fact that some of his niggles haven't enabled him to spar and train like he would have, there's a lot that's gone on in terms of working with specific trainers and making decisions and choices,” said Hearn.

“He's in Dubai on holiday really but he's training all the time. A lot of work has gone in over the last three to four weeks to make sure that process is being put in place.”

Meanwhile, Tyson Fury’s mandated clash for the WBC title with Dillian Whyte is set to go to purse bids on Tuesday.

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But Hearn doubts the purse bids will go ahead and reckons they will be delayed because Whyte is still arguing with the WBC over the 80-20 split in favour of champion Fury.

Hearn did confirm he will bid for the fight if the bid process goes ahead, though.

He said: "There is a lot going on legally behind the scenes with Dillian and the WBC. we are not at all happy with the 80-20 split ruling and there is a process now that we have to go through over that to object and that is happening now.

"The danger is Fury boxes on March 26 and it won’t be Dillian because the case is ongoing. But that is just to put pressure on Dillian to take a poor deal.

"He would accept it once an arbitration or court has taken place because he feels very strongly.

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"He feels 80-20 is not fair but if the Court of Arbitration decide it is then I think he will proceed.

"If it goes to purse bids then a lot of people will bid, including us.

"I don’t see how it can go ahead, with the arbitration case ongoing, but anything is possible."

Hearn was talking at the announcement of his February and March schedule on DAZN, sign up at dazn.com

  • Anthony Joshua
  • Eddie Hearn
  • Mike Tyson
  • Tyson Fury
  • Boxing

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